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American Forces Press Service

Troops Shut Down Terrorist Network

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 23, 2007 – Coalition forces killed eight terrorists, detained scores of others and confiscated money, weapons and bomb-making materials in various recent operations, military officials reported.

A raid today in Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood targeted an individual suspected of funneling weapons and money from Iran to a clandestine terrorist network that operated in Baghdad, Basrah and Maysan provinces, officials said.

Four armed terrorists fired on coalition troops during the raid. Coalition troops returned fire, killing two of the terrorists.

Coalition troops searched 11 buildings during the operation, which yielded bomb-making materials, large amounts of Iranian money, and more than $6,000 in U.S. currency.

“Rogue militia elements and terrorists are seeking to destroy the future of Iraq,” Multinational Force Iraq spokesman Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver said. “We will continue to capture or kill them and dismantle their organizations.”

Six more terrorists, including a suspected regional leader of al Qaeda, were killed and 39 suspects were detained today during three other coalition raids conducted in southern Baghdad in an area northwest of Taji and in an area near Yusufiyah, officials said.

The alleged al Qaeda leader and an accomplice were killed during the south-Baghdad operation, officials said. The fallen terrorist chieftain was suspected of coordinating regional foreign fighter and suicide attacks.

Northwest of Taji, coalition forces targeted an individual suspected of supplying foreign fighters for suicide attacks. During the raid, four terrorists engaged coalition forces with small-arms fire. Coalition forces returned fire, killing the four terrorists.

During a building search conducted afterward, coalition troops found weapons and detained an individual suspected of aiding the al Qaeda cell.

Also today, coalition forces seized five suspected terrorists during an operation conducted in Mosul. One of the individuals detained in the raid is an alleged terror cell leader suspected of masterminding assassinations and attacks against coalition and Iraqi security forces.

Coalition forces today also captured 13 suspected terrorists, including an alleged al Qaeda cell leader, during three coordinated raids conducted near Karmah. Also today, during an operation in Fallujah, coalition troops detained four more alleged terrorists suspected of operating a car-bomb network.

Near Yusufiyah, today, U.S. soldiers with 10th Mountain Division’s Company C, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, detained 17 individuals and seized an array of weaponry after searching several local houses. Confiscated material included two AK-47 assault rifles, two 9 mm pistols, 10 ammunition magazines, two gas masks, seven bandoliers, a modified cell phone, a bayonet, three ammunition vests, and five other weapons, three of which were hidden inside tennis-racket cases.

“We continue to disrupt the leadership of the al Qaeda in Iraq organization and its affiliates,” Garver said. “Step by step, we work to keep these terrorists from launching brutal attacks on the Iraqi people.”

In other news, 10th Mountain Division soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, found weapons and numerous materials suitable for building roadside bombs yesterday during search operations for three U.S. soldiers missing since May 12, officials said.

Items confiscated include five 57 mm rocket rounds, a 120 mm rocket round, two six-volt batteries, two spools of copper wire, two 58 mm rocket rounds, two heavy machine guns, two AK-47s with five magazines, two ammunition vests, a hand grenade, four grenade fuses, four blasting caps, a stick of plastic explosive, a roadside bomb detonator, 100 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, a motorcycle, and more than 150 homemade compact discs labeled in Arabic. The explosives were destroyed in a controlled detonation.

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

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