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American Forces Press Service

Iraqi, Coalition Forces Detain 15, Destroy Cache, Thwart Attack

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2007 – Iraqi and coalition forces seized 15 suspected terrorists, destroyed a weapons cache and thwarted an attack on a State Department convoy in Iraq over the past two days.

During an operation in Karmah today, coalition forces detained four suspected terrorists hiding outside the first of three targeted buildings. Troops nabbed six more suspected terrorists in the other buildings.

All suspects were detained for their alleged association with a suspected al Qaeda emir and participation in anti-aircraft attacks, military officials said.

Coalition forces raided a building east of Ameriyah this morning and captured four individuals with alleged ties to a roadside bomb cell in the area, military officials said.

In Mosul, coalition forces seized a suspected terrorist who allegedly leads an al Qaeda group in the area.

While raiding a house near Salman Pak today, coalition forces discovered and later destroyed a cache containing mortars, dynamite and jihadist media.

“We continue to target al Qaeda in Iraq's leaders and its manpower resources,” said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. “Each operation contributes to eventual security for the people of Iraq.”

Insurgents using small-arms fire attacked a convoy of U.S. State Department members and their coalition force security escort in Baghdad’s Rusafa District yesterday.

The security unit returned fire and requested assistance.

Apache helicopters from the 1st Cavalry Division’s 1st Air Cavalry Brigade arrived before ground reinforcements from soldiers of the 2nd Infantry Division’s 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, who were patrolling nearby during the attack.

Apache helicopter crews located several armed insurgents as they attacked the convoy. Apache operators then fired the aircraft's 30 mm main gun, causing the insurgents to cease their attack.

“We responded to troops in contact with the enemy,” said Col. Daniel Shanahan, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division's 1st Air Cavalry Brigade. “Our aircrews engaged valid targets, making positive identification of the enemy.”

Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers and Iraqi security forces secured the area following the attack. State Department personnel and security elements left the area safely after ground forces arrived to the scene.

No Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers were injured during the attack. The incident is under investigation.

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

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