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American Forces Press Service

Coalition, Iraqi Forces Detain 39 Suspects, Discover Weapons Caches

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 3, 2007 – Coalition and Iraqi forces nabbed 39 suspected insurgents and seized weapons caches during operations in Iraq over the past three days, military officials said.

Coalition forces detained eight suspected terrorists during two separate overnight raids north of Karmah. The suspects allegedly are involved in facilitating foreign fighters and are linked to an improvised–explosive-device network known to use chlorine in its attacks, military officials said. During the raid, troops discovered IED-making materials and a double-barreled anti-aircraft weapon and mount, which they destroyed on site.

"Every time we eliminate another member of the deadly IED networks in Iraq, the people of Iraq are one step closer to a safer existence," said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.

During raids in Sadr City this morning, coalition forces detained two suspects who allegedly belong to the secret cell of a terrorist network that helps transport terrorist recruits, weapons and explosively formed penetrators from Iran to Iraq. Intelligence reports also indicate the secret cell has ties to a kidnapping network that conducts attacks in Iraq.

"This and other recent operations in the region highlight the deliberate, methodical dismantlement of terrorist networks in Iraq and those who contribute to their illegal actions," Garver said.

In southern Baghdad, paratroopers from the 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, detained three men last night when the van they were driving stopped about 1,600 feet from a security checkpoint. When the paratroopers approached the vehicle to investigate, the men in the van opened fire. In the ensuing firefight, one of the insurgents was wounded and treated at the scene by a medic.

The paratroopers took the three suspects into custody and are holding them for further questioning.

In Mosul yesterday, coalition forces raided four buildings as part of two related operations. When troops searched the buildings, they detained three suspected terrorists that intelligence sources link to arms trafficking, a car-bomb network and attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces.

In Anbar province yesterday, coalition forces followed intelligence leads to several buildings believed to be senior al Qaeda in Iraq safe houses. When coalition forces cleared and searched the buildings, they detained 10 individuals suspected of working with al Qaeda.

During a separate raid yesterday in Baghdad, coalition forces detained two suspects allegedly responsible for operating an IED cell, military officials said.

"We’re steadily dismantling the al Qaeda network, including the IED network that has been so deadly to the Iraqi people," Garver said.

In the Iraqi capital May 1, Iraqi special operations forces conducted an early morning operation, capturing five suspects suspected of building car bombs and carrying out death squad murders. With coalition advisors present, Iraqi special operations forces raided several residences in the Aamel neighborhood in southwestern Baghdad. Small-arms fire was exchanged, and the primary suspects were detained. Iraqi forces also detained six other suspicious individuals at the target location and seized a cache with five sniper rifles, ammunition and electronic communication devices.

The primary targets of this operation are alleged to be involved in an insurgent network responsible for conducting attacks against local civilians, Iraqi security forces and coalition forces in the Baghdad area, military officials said. No Iraqi or coalition forces were injured during this operation.

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

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