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American Forces Press Service

14 Enemy Fighters Killed, Dozens Nabbed in Recent Iraq Operations

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2007 – Coalition and Iraqi forces killed 14 terrorists and captured dozens of suspected insurgents during operations conducted in Iraq today and over the past week, officials said.

-- Coalition troops nabbed 21 suspected terrorists, including a senior al Qaeda in Iraq courier, an improvised-explosive- device cell leader, and a foreign-fighter facilitator during operations across Iraq today.

-- In Baghdad, coalition forces captured three individuals with ties to senior al Qaeda in Iraq leadership.

-- During operations in Karmah, coalition troops captured 11 suspected terrorists, including a high-level al Qaeda courier who is a known associate of several senior al Qaeda in Iraq personnel. He also is known for assisting in the movement of senior al Qaeda agents in the region.

-- Three suspected terrorists were detained in Ramadi, including the leader of an IED producing and emplacement cell.

-- In Bayji, four suspects with ties to foreign fighters were detained.

-- Coalition forces killed 14 terrorists, detained two suspected terrorists and destroyed a known foreign fighter safe house yesterday during a raid conducted south of Baqubah. Intelligence reports indicated that a foreign fighter facilitator responsible for conducting multiple attacks on Iraqi and coalition forces was operating in the area. Ground forces called for close air support resulting in 14 enemy fighters killed during the air strikes. The air strikes also destroyed the building to prevent it from further use as a terrorist safe haven.

-- U.S. soldiers from the 759th Military Police Battalion and Iraqi police from Nahrawan Police Station found a large weapons cache during a joint patrol conducted in east Baghdad Jan. 26. The cache consisted of 55 80 mm mortars, 50 60 mm mortars, 15 120 mm mortars, two mortar tubes, 60,000 PKC rounds, 50,000 AK-47 rounds, 30 sticks of TNT, 10 pounds of gunpowder, multiple charges and fuses, shotgun ammunition, 10 hand grenades, a 14.5 mm machine gun, 400 rounds of 14.5 mm ammunition, a crush wire initiator, three RPG launchers, four PKC spare barrels, a mortar sight, flak vests and military uniforms. Two people were found in a building near the cache and were detained after testing positive for explosives.

-- Special Iraqi Security Forces found a terrorist bomb factory during operations with coalition advisors conducted west of Baghdad near Hit on Jan. 26. The operation targeted a terrorist cell suspected of conducting attacks against Iraqi civilians and security forces in the area.

-- Iraqi forces discovered a building believed to be used by terrorists as an IED factory. Iraqi forces confiscated two completed IEDs, two 155 mm artillery rounds, a rocket, several pounds of explosives and additional components used to construct IEDs. The building was destroyed to prevent its future use by terrorists in constructing bombs. There were no Iraqi civilian, Iraqi forces or coalition forces casualties.

-- Soldiers of the 2nd Iraqi Army Division captured the suspected leader of a terrorist bombing cell during operations with coalition advisors in Mosul, Jan. 26. The detainee is allegedly responsible for coordinating and participating in multiple mortar, small-arms and IED attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces. The cell leader also allegedly was involved in an IED attack against an Iraqi police convoy in Mosul last year. An additional suspect was taken into Iraqi custody for questioning.

-- Special Iraqi Police captured the suspected leader of a terrorist bombing cell during operations with coalition advisors in northern Babil province near Haswah, Jan. 25. The cell leader is believed to have al Qaeda ties and is responsible for coordinating IED attacks against Iraqi civilians and security forces in the area. Iraqi forces detained eight additional suspects for questioning.

-- Iraqi Army and coalition force troops nabbed 21 suspected terrorists and cleared and secured a known insurgent hotbed in the center of Baghdad during Operation Tomahawk Strike 11, conducted Jan. 24-25. The operation disrupted insurgent activity on Haifa Street and was led by 1st Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division with support provided by Multinational Division Baghdad.

In other news from Iraq, a 5-year old Iraqi girl was wounded during an insurgent attack on coalition forces operating in Baghdad’s al-Doura district today. Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment and 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, part of the 1st Cavalry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, were conducting a security patrol in the area with an Iraqi army platoon when they were attacked by a rocket-propelled grenade, followed by small arms fire. The girl received multiple gunshot wounds to her legs and arms during the attack.

Soldiers provided emergency medical treatment and evacuated the girl and her neighbor to the International Zone, where she received further treatment for her injuries.

Also, Special Iraqi Army Forces and coalition advisors saved an Iraqi family that was being threatened by al Qaeda operatives during a Jan. 25 operation conducted near Taji. Iraqi forces evacuated all six family members to the safety of an Iraqi Army compound in Baghdad. One person was taken into Iraqi custody for questioning.

On Jan. 24, coalition troops rescued eight Iraqis who had been tortured while being held hostage in Arab Jabour. The hostages had been tied up and hidden in an underground bunker, officials said. They’d also been tortured, beaten, deprived of food and water and told they were being held for ransom. One of the hostages reported he had been held hostage for 50 days, and another for 47 days. Another hostage indicated the terrorists had captured other Iraqis and tortured them before receiving ransom payments.

Military medical personnel provided on-scene first aid to the liberated hostages after which coalition troops transported the men to a medical facility for further treatment. Seven of the men have since been released to their families; the eighth hostage, who had been held for 50 days, had to be carried out of the bunker. He is undergoing medical treatment and will be released to his family, officials said.

While searching the scene, coalition forces found IED-producing materials, multiple shotgun shells, mortar primers, machine guns, military-style uniforms and boots.

Also, coalition forces discovered an insurgent torture house with blood-stained walls and freed three victims found inside as part of a security operation conducted southeast of Fallujah Jan. 22-23. Troops also detained 10 individuals to add to 11 others captured earlier in the operation. Fifteen of these detainees were sent to a detention facility. Seven of those detainees were identified as known al Qaeda operatives, and seven others were identified as known insurgents or criminals. The rescued victims identified several of the detainees as members of the torture house.

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

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