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American Forces Press Service

Task Force Liberty Soldiers Kill Terrorist Sniper

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12, 2005 Task Force Liberty soldiers killed a terrorist sniper during a Sept. 11 small-arms engagement near Samarra, Iraq, military officials reported today.

The incident took place when 1st Brigade Combat Team soldiers manning an observation post identified two terrorists following small-arms fire from a nearby house, officials said. Another group of soldiers engaged the terrorists fleeing in a civilian sedan. The terrorists abandoned their car and fled the scene of the attack on foot, officials said.

When the firefight ended and the scene was secured, U.S. troops found a dead terrorist with a Draganov sniper rifle. Alerted by the Samarra Joint Coordination Center, brigade soldiers searched for the second terrorist discovering a blood trail, but the second terrorist got away.

Raids by Iraqi security forces and Task Force Liberty soldiers across north-central Iraq over the past week netted several terrorists and weapons, and helps secure the region for upcoming elections, U.S. military officials reported.

Soldiers from the 116th Brigade Combat Team of Task Force Liberty and Iraqi security forces nabbed several wanted terrorists during raids in Kirkuk province, officials said. The joint army and police patrols also netted an array of weaponry, including a light machine gun, a bag of swords and Baath Party relics with outdated ID cards bearing the image of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

When the soldiers and police stormed suspected insurgents' hideouts in Kirkuk and Hawija, they found fake police and oil company ID cards, computers, cameras, uniforms, two dozen rifles and pistols, three rocket-propelled grenade sights, a land mine and information regarding the movement of coalition forces. They also seized $2,300 in U.S. currency and more than 3 million Iraqi dinar during the raids

The 116th detained more than a dozen suspects for questioning.

Raids this week by the 1st Brigade Combat Team and Iraqi security forces in Salah Ad Din province captured two wanted terrorists and seized two rifles, a pistol and several cellular and satellite phones. Four people were detained for investigation.

Meanwhile, officials said the 278th Regimental Combat Team of Task Force Liberty raided a series of targets near Jalula and other locations in Diyala province, capturing five terrorist suspects and detaining more than a dozen others for questioning.

In other action in the Tikrit area, Task Force Liberty and Iraqi army soldiers followed a civilian tip to a cache of artillery and mortar rounds near Jalula in Diyala province and detained four individuals Sept. 10.

While soldiers investigated the tip, an individual arrived at the cache site and began to dig. That individual was detained, and the Iraqi soldiers detained three more suspects after searching the first detainee's house, military officials reported.

They said the cache included 29 82 mm mortar rounds, 14 122 mm artillery rounds and six 130 mm artillery rounds.

Officials in Baghdad reported today that about 2,300 suspected terrorists and insurgents were detained and 1,085 released from brigade and division-level internment facilities during August by coalition forces assigned to Multinational Corps Iraq.

The suspects were taken into custody under the suspicion they were supporting or conducting operations against coalition and Iraqi security forces, officials said.

On average, about 50 percent of all suspects detained are released after an investigation by the Detention Review Authority concludes there is insufficient evidence, officials said.

"There is a fair and impartial system in place," said Col. Arnaldo Claudio, the Multinational Corps Iraq provost marshal. "They are detained based on probable cause, and while in custody, they are cared for, adhering to established international standards in accordance with the principles outlined in Geneva Convention IV."

In other action, Iraqi security forces found and cleared an improvised explosive device Sept. 11 in Baqubah, officials noted. The device consisted of a 155 mm artillery round with an attached timing device.

Coalition aircraft flew 46 close air support and armed reconnaissance sorties Sept. 11 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions included support to coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities, and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities. Coalition aircraft also supported Iraqi and coalition ground forces operations. U.S. Air Force F-16s and U.S. Navy F/A-18s provided close air support to coalition troops near of Karabilah, Mishal and Mosul. Eleven U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and Royal Australian Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. U.S. Air Force fighter aircraft also performed in a nontraditional ISR role with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.

(Compiled from U.S. Central Command, Multinational Force Iraq, Multinational Security Transition Command and U.S. Central Command Air Forces news releases.)


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