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American Forces Press Service

Iraqi, Coalition Forces Capture Terrorist Leaders

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2007 – Iraqi and coalition forces captured one terrorist leader and killed 16 suspected terrorists today. Ten more insurgents died in fighting yesterday.

Coalition forces in Baghdad captured five suspected terrorists, including an alleged al Qaeda in Iraq emir whose organization includes a deadly car-bomb cell in the city, during two raids today. At one targeted location, coalition forces destroyed two vehicles used to transport explosives and personnel for the terrorist network.

An operation in Mosul killed one terrorist. Outside the targeted building, a man identified as Izz al-Din, also known as Abu Ahmad, drew a weapon on the approaching ground forces. Coalition forces engaged and killed him. One suspected terrorist was detained on scene for his involvement with Abu Ahmad.

Abu Ahmad was the head of five terrorist cells in Mosul and was responsible for directing attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces, U.S. officials said.

In Anbar province, coalition forces detained an individual suspected of providing fake documents for al Qaeda leaders and operatives in the Karmah area. Seven other suspected terrorists also were detained for their involvement with al Qaeda in Iraq and its senior leaders.

"The elimination of al Qaeda senior leaders will continue to disrupt terrorist operations in Baghdad and around the country," said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a Multinational Force iraq spokesman. "Without the obstructive influence of terrorists, the Iraqi people can determine their own future."

Yesterday, Multinational Division Baghdad troops killed 10 insurgents who had launched a series of roadside-bomb and small-arms-fire ambushes in the West Rashid district of southern Baghdad.

"The heightened enemy activity in the predominantly Shiia area of West Rashid is believed to be in response to the attack on the Shiite al-Askari Mosque in Samarra," said Army Maj. Kirk Luedeke, spokesperson for the 4th Interim Brigade Combat team, based out of Fort Riley, Kan.

On June 13, Iraq and coalition forces in charge of securing the Diyala Government Center and the Diyala Operations Center killed one gunman and wounded another, after the troops noticed the gunmen aiming a rocket-propelled grenade at the government center.

Meanwhile, a number of raids have taken place involving the discovery and seizure of enemy munitions. In one raid yesterday, nine individuals were detained on suspicion of running a bomb-making cell in the east Doura neighborhood of Baghdad’s Rashid district.

Soldiers seized the detainees without incident. The individuals detained are believed to be involved in an al Qaeda roadside-bomb and recruiting ring that had recently launched attacks against the unit.

In other news, troops seized several caches on June 13. Baghdad troops teamed up with a platoon of Iraqi national police to conduct a raid in the eastern Sadr City district.

The troops discovered three complete 60 mm mortar systems, complete 82 mm and 120 mm mortar systems, four 120 mm mortar rounds, 32 60 mm mortar rounds, three 107 mm rockets, a rifle scope, two AK-47 rifles, two sets of body armor, and a variety of weapon manuals.

An air and ground assault took place on two houses in Salman Pak on June 13. The raids yielded two 107 mm rockets, homemade explosives, two AK-47 assault rifles, a bolt-action rifle, several propane tanks, copper wire, ammunition, magazines, and several assault vests.

In another raid, Iraqi troops and Baghdad soldiers raided a weapons cache in the Yarmouk neighborhood. The cache contained 113 landmines, 63 grenades, three rockets, three mortars, two gas masks, five washing machine timers, more than 2,000 rounds of AK-47 ammunition, and seven boxes of various electronics and other assorted explosives.

It is the largest weapons cache discovery by U.S. or Iraqi forces to date in the Yarmouk area, U.S. officials said.

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

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