Saturday, October 28, 2006

Joint patrols knocking on doors in Doura

BAGHDAD — A loud knock on the door breaks the silence of the mosque and grabs the attention of its occupants. A representative of the local imam, his family members and associates standing behind him, greet the Iraqi National Policemen standing at their door.

After a brief introduction, the police officers from 6th Battalion, 2nd National Police Division file into the Islamic building used for prayer and worship.

The day’s mission has all but ended as the leaders of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment provide watch from across the street. At the request of the INP, and in respect for Iraqi culture, the Soldiers attached to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division will not be entering the mosque on this mission.

“The (INP) forces are doing most of the searching part of this cordon element, with my Soldiers providing oversight, assistance and expertise as necessary,” said Lt. Col. Gregory Butts, commander, 2nd Bn., 506th Inf. Regt., 101st Airborne Division, attached to 4th BCT, 4th Inf. Div. “Only Iraqi Security Forces will go in and search the mosque,” Butts said, observing the ISF scouring the roof of the mosque. “The NP want to go in and search it because they also feel it is more appropriate, especially during Ramadan. We are here in case there are any problems.”

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