Wednesday, September 17, 2003

A local man flagged down a patrol and then led paratroopers to a burned-out house in a lush farming area near the Nahr alKarmah River.

Behind it, there were 30 rocket-propelled grenades concealed in a haystack, nearly 8,000 antiaircraft shells stacked in a garden of figs, ripe eggplants and 8-foot okra plants. There also was an antiaircraft gun, one giant artillery shell, about six burlap sacks of heavy machine gun ammunition and 40 fuses for artillery shells.

The fuses were ideal for crafting explosive devices like the one that killed the soldier Sunday, said Capt. Jeremy Gilkes, Bravo Company Commander.

Army explosives experts took the weapons away to destroy them.

The informant said the occupants of the house had been causing trouble for the local farmers, and so they were happy to help the soldiers, Gilkes said.

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