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American Forces Press Service

Terrorists Killed in Iraq, 35 Detained; Bomb Damages Tank

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2007 – Four insurgents were killed, an al Qaeda cell leader was captured and 35 other insurgents were detained through several recent operations in Iraq. A Marine tank also hit a roadside bomb, coalition officials said.

Coalition forces killed four terrorists and detained a fifth armed gunman during a morning raid yesterday in Baghdad. The raid targeted terrorists involved in the production of homemade bombs.

When coalition forces arrived at the objective, five armed individuals attempted to flee the scene. The forces tracked four of the individuals to a nearby building where they refused to surrender, officials said. Their subsequent actions were deemed an immediate threat to the forces and Iraqis in the area. The troops reacted by engaging and killing the four terrorists.

The fifth individual, found hiding in a ditch, surrendered to coalition forces.

In Samarra yesterday, members of the 4th Iraqi Army Division, with coalition advisors, captured seven members of a homemade bomb cell during operations.

The suspects are responsible for coordinating and conducting bomb attacks against Iraqi civilians and security forces, officials said. Cell members also are involved in small-arms and mortar attacks in the Samarra area. They are suspected of using their homes and businesses as places to store and sell weapons and explosives to other insurgents in the area.

On Jan. 5, more than two dozen suspects were detained and weapons caches seized in several operations.

In southern Baghdad, coalition forces captured the leader of an al Qaeda terrorist cell, officials said. Tied to senior level al Qaeda leadership, the terrorist allegedly is responsible for coordinating and conducting kidnapping, torture and murders of Iraqi civilians and security forces.

Coalition forces detained an additional person for questioning.

South of Baghdad in Iskandariyah, officials said Iraqi Police special forces, with coalition advisors, captured four suspected insurgents during operations.

The suspects are responsible for coordinating and carrying out kidnapping, murder and small-arms attacks against Iraqi civilians and security forces. They also are suspected of conducting bomb and mortar attacks against Iraqi security forces in the Iskandariyah area.

In the southeastern Baghdad neighborhood of Hadar, elements of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Brigade, 2nd National Police Division, detained four men at a checkpoint.

The men were detained after illegal weapons and terrorist propaganda materials were found in their cars following a search at the police checkpoint, officials said. A sniper rifle, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, assault rifles, assorted ammunition, weapons magazines and bomb-making materials were recovered from the suspects’ two vehicles.

The men are being held for further questioning.

In Ghazaliyah, a western Baghdad neighborhood, coalition forces found and destroyed a cache used for manufacturing and assembling bombs Jan. 5.

Soldiers from Company D, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Division, attached to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, found about 200 pounds of explosives in two houses near the Al-Shadra Mosque, officials said.

The first of the two adjacent houses was identified as a homemade bomb facility, while the second was identified as the bomb-assembly site.

In addition to the explosives, the soldiers found washing machine timers, Iraqna cell phone cards, passports, blasting caps, time fuses, detonation cords and numerous physics and engineering books.

After securing the area surrounding the two houses, an explosives disposal team arrived and the team’s on-scene commander spoke with a local sheik and community leaders to explain the severity of the situation. The local community leaders agreed to in-place disposal of the items.

The explosives team conducted a controlled detonation. Any collateral damage to surrounding houses was identified and the owners were instructed on the claims process, officials said.

Samples of all suspected explosive material was collected for further analysis.

In Hurriya, a northwestern Baghdad neighborhood, elements of Multinational Division Baghdad, along with Iraqi army elements, conducted clearing operations designed to disrupt insurgent activities and deny urban support zones to terrorists from Jan. 1 to Jan. 5, officials said.

While conducting the operation, elements from the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, and 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, detained 16 suspected insurgents, found seven illegal weapons caches and conducted a civilian medical assistance operation.

Officials said the confiscated caches included rocket propelled-grenade launchers, AK-47 assault rifles with AK-47 ammunition magazines, rifles, machine guns, pistols, mortars, and blocks of C-4 explosives. Rocket-propelled grenades, rocket-propelled grenade stabilizer shafts, and rocket-propelled grenade booster rockets, along with identification cards, maps, insurgent propaganda, and $3.25 million Iraqi Dinar and $2,200 in U.S. currency also were confiscated.

With the support of Task Force 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, Iraqi troops also aided the community by providing medical care to the local population.

Iraqi medics treated and provided medication to about 2,000 Iraqi civilians during this operation, officials said. Iraqi army personnel handed out blankets to those waiting in line, and passed out candy, soccer balls, stickers and gum to the waiting children.

Elsewhere in Iraq on Jan. 5, a Marine tank was severely damaged when it struck a roadside bomb in Fallujah, officials said. It caught fire but no coalition force casualties have been reported.

Marines cordoned the area and established security around the damaged vehicle to protect local citizens and begin recovery of the vehicle.

Near Ubayday, south of Baghdad, the same day, Iraqi highway patrolmen and paratroopers from 2nd Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, found and destroyed a roadside bomb, officials said.

The Iraqi officers contacted the paratroopers, who requested an explosives detachment. A controlled detonation destroyed the bomb on site.

On Jan. 4, west of Mahmudiyah, soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division and Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), detained two suspects during a joint operation.

The operation targeted bomb-making cells operating near the town. Working on Iraqi army intelligence, troops worked with local residents of the area to help identify and detain the first suspect.

U.S. soldiers, working with aviation support, tracked the second suspect, who was seen fleeing the area. Iraqi army soldiers caught and detained him in a nearby palm grove.

Both suspects are being held for further questioning.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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