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American Forces Press Service

Three Soldiers Killed in Iraq; Raids Kill Several Terrorists

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2005 Three U.S. soldiers were killed in action and four others were wounded in two separate incidents in Iraq Oct. 26, coalition officials in Baghdad announced today.

One soldier from the 1st Corps Support Command died and four soldiers were wounded in an improvised-explosive-device and small-arms-fire attack while conducting a logistics patrol at about 11:15 a.m. Oct. 26, near Ashraf.

In a separate attack, two Task Force Baghdad soldiers died when their convoy struck an improvised explosive device in eastern Baghdad.

No further details on these incidents were available. The names of the soldiers are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

In other operations, coalition forces raided multiple safe houses, killing several terrorists and detaining another in a car chase in the town of Hit Oct. 26.

Acting on multiple intelligence sources, coalition forces raided two terrorist safe houses to capture or kill terrorists operating near Hit, in western Iraq. The safe houses were suspected of being terrorist operational bases used to conduct attacks against local Iraqi citizens and Iraqi security and coalition forces.

Early in the operation, coalition forces secured the first safe house and detained one terrorist. Information from that location led coalition forces to another safe house suspected of being used to facilitating terrorist activities.

Prior to arriving at the second safe house, Coalition forces observed two vehicles departing with several men and attempted to stop the vehicles, but the terrorists refused to stop. Coalition forces fired on the lead vehicle in an attempt to disable it, but it exploded. Coalition soldiers observed several multiple secondary explosions, indicating that explosives and ammunition of some type were in the vehicle. The trail vehicle stopped, and terrorists attempted to flee the area, but coalition forces engaged and killed them.

A search of the second vehicle revealed multiple small arms, ammunition, mortar rounds, numerous rocket-propelled grenades and RPG launchers. Coalition forces destroyed the vehicle and weapons before leaving the area.

Coalition forces then returned to the second terrorist safe house. They secured and searched the building discovering a large weapons cache, ammunition, rocket-propelled grenades, mortar rounds and explosives. Coalition forces used close-air-support assets to destroy the terrorist safe house and weapons cache. Coalition forces saw large secondary explosions as they departed the area.

Elsewhere, an al Qaeda terrorist cell leader who personally assisted in at least three videotaped beheadings and his assistant were killed during a coalition raid of a suspected safe house in Mosul Oct. 22, officials announced Oct. 26.

Nashwan Mijhim Muslet, aka Abu Tayir or Abu Zaid, was a senior operational al Qaeda terrorist cell leader in Iraq who operated specifically in the Mosul area, officials said. His cell was known as the primary beheading cell for Abu Talha, the al Qaeda in Iraq "emir of Mosul" who was captured in June 2005, and Abu Zubayr, second in command to Talha and later emir of Mosul after Talha was detained. Zubayr was killed in August 2005.

The beheadings were filmed to intimidate the local population of Mosul and Iraqi citizens throughout Iraq. Intelligence reports indicate that Nashwan personally helped Zubayr behead three Mosul citizens during one of the videotaped gatherings.

As a senior operational cell leader, Nashwan was chiefly responsible for attacking Iraqi security and coalition forces. These attacks consisted of engaging convoys with small arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades, IEDs and car bombs. His cell intimidated Mosul citizens through criminal activities, such as roadblocks, extorting money, or kidnapping family members of businessmen or prominent families to ransom them for money.

Another terrorist, Nahi Achmed Obeid Sultan, aka Abu Hassan, an assistant to Nashwan, was killed during the raid. He was responsible for providing personal security for Nashwan and running the day-to-day operations of the terrorist cell.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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