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American Forces Press Service

Anti-Insurgent Operations Continue in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2007 – Coalition forces killed a suspected terror-cell leader in Iraq this morning as anti-insurgent operations continue, with dozens of suspects and multiple weapons caches seized since Feb. 1, Multinational Force Iraq officials reported.

Today, coalition forces disrupted explosives cells in Mosul and Baghdad, killing a suspected key car-bomb cell leader and detaining five suspected car bomb terrorists, officials said.

The raid in Mosul targeted a terrorist who is believed responsible for producing explosives used in attacks against coalition forces in the city.

Upon entering the targeted building, coalition forces encountered two suspected terrorists. One of the terrorists ignored their instructions and reached into his jacket. The troops responded with proper self-defense methods in response to the perceived threat, officials said. The terrorist subsequently died from his wounds.

The other suspect, also believed to be responsible for the attacks, as well as two other suspected terrorists believed to have ties to the Mosul car-bomb network, also were detained.

Coalition forces, acting on intelligence reports, also detained two suspected terrorists during a raid in Baghdad, officials reported. The troops searched the residence of a suspected terrorist believed to be actively planning, financing and executing car-bomb operations.

During the raid, ground forces found more than 250 cell phones and various types of bomb initiators, officials said. The troops seized the materials and also found a vehicle in front of the building that was wired for detonation. They destroyed vehicle's engine block, rendering it useless for future attacks.

In other news, coalition forces killed four terrorists and detained 29 suspected terrorists during raids targeting foreign fighters and the al-Qaeda network throughout Iraq yesterday morning.

During a raid in Fallujah, coalition forces targeted a terrorist with known ties to a foreign-fighter network, Multinational Force Iraq officials reported.

As ground forces approached the targeted building, three armed terrorists attempted to fire on them. Coalition forces killed the three terrorists. They also detained 10 suspects.

West of Taramiyah, coalition forces targeted terrorists with ties to al Qaeda.

Upon approaching the objective, a suspected terrorist advanced toward the forces. They ordered the man to get on the ground. He initially complied, but then got up and charged toward the forces with what appeared to be a grenade, officials said.

Coalition Forces used proper escalation of force to mitigate the threat, and after searching the man, determined he had a rock in his hand, not a grenade.

The suspect died from his wounds.

The forces detained eight suspects during this raid.

Another five suspects were detained during an operation in Taramiyah after intelligence reports indicated they were involved in al-Qaeda kidnapping operations, placing roadside bombs and foreign-terrorist safe house activities. Coalition forces also uncovered a weapons cache consisting of AK-47 assault rifles, pistols, wire spools, 60 mm mortar rounds and a pressure plate during the operation.

In Ramadi, four terrorists suspected of operating a foreign-fighter safe house were detained, and another two suspects were detained in Kalar for their ties to foreign-fighter facilitation.

In Mahmudiyah yesterday, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers seized an Iraqi man suspected of murder, officials said.

A local witness reported the murder to a patrol from Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment. The man gave a description of the vehicle and the three men allegedly involved. The unit began a search for the vehicle, soon finding one that matched the description being towed by a repair truck.

Three men were found inside the vehicle, one of them with a 9 mm pistol and black ski mask and dried blood on his hands. All three suspects were detained and turned over to the Iraqi army, which is holding them for questioning.

Also in Iraq, three Iraqi civilians were killed and 11 wounded Feb. 2 by terrorist activity 15 miles southwest of Baghdad, officials said.

Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment “Golden Dragons,” 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), heard mortar fire near Patrol Base Warrior Keep, just outside Sadr al Yusufiyah. After hearing the rounds impact, soldiers of 2nd Battalion 14th Infantry Regiment, responded with counter fire.

When the firing ceased, the Golden Dragons patrolled the area where the enemy mortars impacted and found three Iraqis dead and 11 wounded. Two of the dead were children.

"This attack is an example of the blatant disregard for the Iraqi people," Maj. Brock Jones, executive officer of the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, said. "For them (the terrorists) to execute a deliberate attack on both women and children shows they have no thought for others."

Four of the residents were treated for minor wounds and seven were evacuated to receive further medical attention.

“The soldiers acted without hesitation in order to render as much aid as possible to the local nationals,” Jones said.

The same day in Kahdra, a western Baghdad neighborhood, elements of the 5th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army seized a cache of weapons and explosives, officials reported.

Working from a tip to the 6th Iraqi Army headquarters, the troops searched an abandoned house and discovered 57 mm rockets, rocket-propelled-grenade rounds, 120 mm mortar rounds, 100 mm mortar rounds, 107 mm rockets, 130 mm artillery rounds, 122 mm artillery rounds, 152 mm artillery rounds, 85 mm projectiles, 155 mm artillery rounds, roadside bomb timers, a mortar tube, AK-47s and machine guns.

An explosives disposal team took the explosives to a U.S. base for disposal.

In other developments, Iraqi army soldiers detained 24 individuals during cordon-and-search operations Feb. 1 and 2 in the villages surrounding Tuz, about 110 miles north of Baghdad. The detainees are suspected of involvement in insurgent activities.

The Iraqi Army’s 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, with coalition forces providing tactical overwatch and logistical support, conducted the two-day operation.

The soldiers also confiscated AK-47s, shotguns, bolt-action rifles, 9 mm pistols, grenades, basting caps and bomb-making materials.

On Feb. 1 north of Ramadi, members of the Iraqi 2nd Battalion Emergency Response Unit discovered a weapons cache while conducting a patrol.

The cache consisted of mortar rounds ranging from 60 mm to 120 mm, Katusha rockets, 155 mm rounds prepared as homemade bombs and mortar fuses.

That same day near Yusufiyah, Iraqi army soldiers running independent operations detained five men and seized two homemade bombs.

Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, discovered the bombs while conducting cordon-and-search operations near a village in rural farmlands 10 miles southwest of Baghdad.

Iraqi army troops searched a house and found a 120 mm artillery round and a 155 mm artillery round, both rigged as bombs and prepared for emplacement. The troops detained five men in the house and seized the bombs. The suspects are being held for questioning.

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

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