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American Forces Press Service

Iraqi, Coalition Forces Kill, Capture Terrorists

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2007 – Coalition and Iraqi forces killed 17 terrorists, detained about 90 suspected insurgents, and found several weapons caches in operations throughout Iraq in the past three days, military officials reported.

Coalition forces killed five terrorists, destroyed a bomb-making factory and detained three suspected terrorists during an operation today near Taji. As ground forces entered the target buildings, they encountered several armed men. Coalition forces used self-defense measures, killing five terrorists and detaining three suspected terrorists.

During the raid, coalition forces discovered an adjacent building was being used as an explosives factory. Inside the building, coalition forces found large-caliber ammunition and explosive manufacturing materials including numerous 50-gallon barrels of explosive material. Coalition forces conducted an air strike to destroy the explosives factory, associated vehicles, ammunition and weapons.

Elsewhere, Amiriyah police and Marines from Regimental Combat Team 6 engaged armed groups of al Qaeda for more than five hours today, killing eight insurgents and wounding five, south of Fallujah, near the town of Amiriyah.

Iraqi police posts observed sporadic enemy mortar fire for about one hour this morning. Marine artillery units assigned to RCT6 identified the location of the mortar team and counter-fired, forcing the al Qaeda in Iraq attackers to flee the scene. Amiriyah police then received sporadic enemy fire from an unknown number of insurgents. The police positively identified the enemy gunfire and returned fire, killing two insurgents and wounding five. Five policemen were wounded during the engagement.

Enemy fire continued sporadically throughout midday, when supporting fixed-wing aircraft engaged about 20 insurgents with guided munitions and strafing fire. Six insurgents were killed and their vehicles were destroyed as a result. The five wounded policemen were transported to a local hospital and treated.

In other operations, coalition forces destroyed a weapons cache and detained 23 suspected terrorists today during raids targeting foreign fighter facilitators and al Qaeda in Iraq networks.

During a raid near Balad, coalition forces detained 10 suspected terrorists and found a large amount of weapons in two targeted buildings. The weapons found included numerous machine guns, assault rifles, AK-47s, grenades, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and a DShK anti-aircraft heavy machine gun. Due to the large amount of weapons found, coalition forces destroyed the two buildings and the weapons inside to prevent further use by terrorists.

West of Taji, coalition forces captured three suspects with alleged ties to car bomb operations and foreign fighter facilitation.

Six suspected terrorists believed to be involved in foreign fighter facilitation were detained in Mosul.

Coalition forces also conducted a raid west of Abu Ghraib targeting foreign fighter facilitators. During the raid, ground forces detained four suspected terrorists at the targeted building.

In other developments, the western Ramadi district police conducted a massive police operation targeting insurgents yesterday in Ramadi. Coordinating between several stations within his district, Brig. Gen. Khalil Ibrahim Hamadi, chief of the Ramadi district police, personally led more than 500 policemen as they conducted house-to-house searches in the capital city of Anbar province.

"The sons of Ramadi work tirelessly to eradicate criminals and bring them to justice," Khalil said. "Today we achieved a noble goal in providing security and stability to our families and the people of Ramadi."

During the 10-hour operation, named “Operation Lions of Ramadi,” police detained more than 45 suspected insurgents, confiscated propaganda material and discovered several caches containing assault rifles, machine guns, and mortar and artillery shells used to produce improvised explosive devices. Insurgents using an IED during the operation killed one civilian and injured five. The wounded were transported by local citizens to a nearby joint security station, then evacuated to a coalition medical facility for further treatment.

Elsewhere, at least four Iraqis were killed and 14 wounded when a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb yesterday in an eastern segment of the Iraqi capital. The attack occurred around 11:20 a.m. when a taxi packed with mortar rounds plowed into a crowd in the al-Sheik Omar area.

An Iraqi army element from 4th Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division, and soldiers with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, responded to the blast and sealed off the area to prevent residents from approaching any unexploded ordnance. The injured were treated on the spot before being transported for further medical care.

In another operation, coalition forces detained nine suspected terrorists yesterday during raids targeting the al Qaeda in Iraq network.

In Mosul, seven suspected terrorists were detained with alleged ties to al Qaeda in Iraq and attacks against coalition forces and the Iraqi police. One of the detainees reportedly procures chemicals for the production of IEDs.

In another raid southwest of Abu Ghraib, coalition forces netted two suspected terrorists allegedly involved in moving foreign terrorists into Iraq.

A contraband-search-turned-firefight yielded two caches for Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers March 19 in Falahat, Iraq. Soldiers from Troop C, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, raided three buildings in Falahat, where they detained three suspected insurgents and confiscated two AK-47s, one shotgun and five magazines.

Troop C was preparing to enter a fourth building when a vehicle with four men drove by and fired weapons at the soldiers, who reciprocated with shots of their own. Three of the men fled the scene on foot but were captured by the soldiers. Follow-on searches yielded the day's second cache: one 122 mm artillery shell, four fuses, one grenade, four rocket sleds, four ammunition vests, one AK-47 and more than seven magazines.

In Ramadi, Iraqi police captured a suspected insurgent, reportedly linked to an IED cell, during operations with coalition advisors March 19. The suspect is allegedly involved in multiple bombing attacks targeting coalition forces and Iraqi security forces in the area. Iraqi forces detained three additional individuals for questioning.

Separately, Iraqi army soldiers took three terrorists into custody during an operation March 19 near Taqa. Soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, detained the three men, who were found on a road that skirts the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, with materials for making IEDs.

In another operation, Iraqi and coalition forces conducted a raid in the western Baghdad neighborhood of Kadamiyah on March 19. The raid was targeting suspected insurgents implicated in the placement of roadside bombs in the area. During the raid, elements of the 3rd Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division, entered the Abass Mosque. No contraband was found in the mosque and about 50 people were held in the area until the search was complete. All 50 from within the mosque were released.

After the search, Iraqi and U.S. soldiers came under rocket-propelled-grenade and small-arms attack at about 9 p.m. from a separate group of 20 armed men in the same area. Coalition forces returned fire, killing three insurgents. Three men from the armed group were detained. U.S. military aircraft participated in the operation but did not expend any ordnance.

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

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