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American Forces Press Service

Coalition Forces Capture 19 Terrorists; Attacks on Iraqi Civilians Continue

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2007 – Coalition forces in Iraq this morning captured 19 suspected terrorists in various operations, Iraqi forces repelled an attack in Fallujah, and attacks on civilians continue across the country, military officials reported.

-- Coalition forces east of Karmah captured five suspected terrorists with alleged involvement in al Qaeda terrorist operations.

-- Forces detained an additional five suspected terrorists, reportedly tied to foreign fighter facilitation, during a raid northwest of Haditha.

-- In southwest Baghdad, coalition forces detained five suspects reportedly involved in car-bomb operations.

-- Three more suspects with alleged ties to al Qaeda were detained in Baghdad.

-- Another suspect detained south of Fallujah is reportedly involved in the movement of weapons and forgery of passports.

"Coalition forces will continue deliberate and methodical operations in order to hunt down and capture or kill terrorists trying to prevent a peaceful and stable Iraq," said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.

U.S. officials in Iraq reported today that eight U.S. soldiers were wounded in a March 26 attack on a coalition post north of Karmah. Soldiers from Regimental Combat Team 6 repelled the coordinated attack, which included two suicide truck bombs.

The attack started at about 2 p.m., when a soldier from 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment (Airborne), attached to 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment (Airborne), engaged a water truck attempting to enter the compound without authorization, causing it to detonate. Immediately following the explosion, about 30 terrorist fighters engaged the compound with small-arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars. The soldiers returned fire with small arms, mortars and artillery.

About five minutes into the attack, soldiers engaged a dump truck following the same path as the previous suicide attacker, causing it to detonate, as well. Initial estimates indicate as many as 15 terrorists were killed, U.S. officials said.

One of the wounded soldiers was evacuated to a nearby coalition medical facility, and the remaining seven were treated on site and returned to duty.

In other news from Iraq, attacks on civilians continue throughout the country.

Iraqi soldiers and police repelled a complex attack at the Fallujah Government Center this morning. The attack included two suicide truck bombs containing chlorine. It began at 6:33 a.m. with mortar fire, followed by two truck bombs and small-arms fire. Iraqi police identified the first suicide attacker and fired on the truck, causing it to detonate before reaching the compound. Iraqi soldiers spotted the second suicide truck approaching the gate and engaged it with small-arms fire, causing it to detonate near the entrance of the compound.

About 15 Iraqi security and coalition force members were injured from the bomb blast and were evacuated to the 2nd Iraqi Army Brigade's aid station and a coalition medical facility. Numerous Iraqi soldiers and policemen are being treated for symptoms such as labored breathing, nausea, skin irritation and vomiting, that that are synonymous with chlorine inhalation.

Elsewhere in Iraq today, one civilian was killed and seven were injured after a suicide bomber detonated his vehicle at 1:20 p.m. in northwestern Ramadi. The injured were evacuated to a local aid station, Ramadi general hospital, and a coalition medical facility.

Coalition forces arrived after the explosion to assist in the medical evacuation and set up a cordon around the blast site. Local citizens provided information about a second truck bomb that may be in the area. Acting on the tip, a search was conducted and an abandoned truck was found wired with explosives and chlorine tanks.

Insurgents near Abu Ghraib killed the brother of a tribal leader yesterday in a suicide attack that involved two car bombs detonated at the house of a sheik. Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment put out the resulting fire. They found three bodies, an assault rifle and several unexploded hand grenades among the debris surrounding the bomb-ravaged sedans. The sheik confirmed that one of those killed was his brother.

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

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