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Iraqis turn explosives cache over to Kazakh soldiers

By SFC Stacy Niles U.S. Army, Multi-National Division-Central

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Kazakhstani Soldiers received 1,369 unexploded ordnance at Forward Operating Base Delta Jan. 3 from the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, an arm of the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior which handles explosives. The cache contained 1,255 57 mm mortars, 51 120 mm mortar mines, 14 152 mm mortars, 33 60 mm artillery shells, 15 155 mm mortars, one 82 mm mortar and 1,071 20 mm small arms cartridges. (Photo by Navy Explosive Ordnance Detachment Mobile Unit Three)
Kazakhstani Soldiers received 1,369 unexploded ordnance at Forward Operating Base Delta Jan. 3 from the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, an arm of the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior which handles explosives. The cache contained 1,255 57 mm mortars, 51 120 mm mortar mines, 14 152 mm mortars, 33 60 mm artillery shells, 15 155 mm mortars, one 82 mm mortar and 1,071 20 mm small arms cartridges. (Photo by Navy Explosive Ordnance Detachment Mobile Unit Three)

Jan. 8, 2008 — BAGHDAD, Iraq (Jan. 3, 2008) —Members of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps turned over a cache of 1,369 pieces of unexploded ordnance to Coalition Forces Jan. 3.

Iraqi Civil Defense Corps personnel, an arm of the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior, delivered the unexploded ordnance and small-arms ammunition to Kazakhstani Soldiers, said 1st Lt. Almaz Mukashev, Kazakhstani liaison officer.

Some pieces of ordnance were remnants of the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88. The cache contained 1,255 57mm mortars, 51 120mm mortar mines, 14 152mm artillery rounds, 33 60mm artillery rounds, 15 155mm artillery rounds, one 82mm mortar and 1,071 20mm small-arms rounds.

"This is a significant cache of unexploded ordnance and fuses. This is just another indication of how serious Iraqis are about security and stability," said Col. Peter Baker, 214th Fires Brigade commander. "They are making the effort. They are turning them over to Coalition Forces, and we are partnering with them in this effort.

"These are the munitions used to build improvised explosive devices to attack not only Coalition Forces, but Iraqi Security Forces and innocent Iraqis," Baker said. "Iraqis have taken over 1,300 IEDs out of the hands of criminals. This is a wonderful way to start the new year. I congratulate the Iraqis for showing courage and the spirit of goodwill by turning in (unexploeded ordnance)."

The Kazakhstani battalion provides unexploded ordnance disposal support to Forward Operating Base Delta.