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American Forces Press Service

Coalition Forces Capture Suspects, Kill Terrorists in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2007 – Coalition forces conducted anti-insurgent operations over the past few days in Iraq, killing terrorists and capturing suspects, military officials reported.

-- A senior member of an al Qaeda media cell gave himself up to coalition forces during a raid in Mosul. He led coalition forces to the media cell headquarters, where they discovered jihadist propaganda and media materials. Three additional suspects were detained.

-- In Baghdad, coalition forces detained two suspects in a raid on al Qaeda in Iraq senior leaders and car-bomb cells.

-- One suspect was killed and two detained in a raid southwest of the capital city that targeted close associates of al Qaeda senior leaders.

-- In Ramadi, coalition forces captured two suspected terrorists during a precision raid. One is an alleged associate of a terrorist who facilitates the movement of foreign terrorists into Iraq for suicide operations.

-- Two coordinated raids in Baghdad targeted members of the Baghdad bombing network. Coalition forces detained five suspected terrorists linked to an al Qaeda leader overseeing the bombing network and two more suspected terrorists with ties to an al Qaeda weapons facilitator.

-- Coalition forces detained eight suspected terrorists north of Taji during a raid targeting a direct associate of al Qaeda senior leaders known for using improvised explosive devices.

“We’re targeting the top of al Qaeda in Iraq’s leadership as well as the operatives who conduct attacks that harm innocent Iraqis, and we’re taking them off the streets so the people of Iraq can live without fear of vicious terrorist attacks,” said Maj. Marc Young, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.

In other news from Iraq, elements of the Iraqi army, with U.S. Special Forces as advisors, captured the alleged emir of Qayyarah for the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq yesterday in Qayyarah. The alleged emir directly leads 50 al Qaeda fighters, U.S. officials said.

During the operation, Iraqi army and U.S. Special Forces troops also detained three other individuals at the residence and recovered terrorist propaganda, passports and Korean currency.

Elsewhere, members of the Iraqi army, with U.S. Special Forces as advisors, detained three suspected insurgents linked to a rogue group of the Jaysh al-Mahdi militia during a series of operations yesterday in northern Baghdad. One team received small-arms fire but safely detained the primary and secondary suspects at the location without injury. The third suspect was detained at a separate target location.

The primary suspect is believed to be a rogue Jaysh al-Mahdi battalion commander and is suspected of organizing kidnappings and leading death squad killings of Sunni Muslim Iraqi citizens. Intelligence suggests he has been involved in more than half of the detonated improvised explosive devices in two of the northern districts of Baghdad.

The second suspect is an alleged rogue Jaysh al-Mahdi cell commander in northern Baghdad under the primary suspect’s control. The second suspect’s cell is accused of conducting death squad killings of Iraqi civilians and using improvised explosive devices against coalition forces.

The third suspect also has been implicated in death-squad killings of Iraqi civilians as well as operations using improvised explosive devices under the leadership of the primary suspect. A fourth additional suspect who was present during the operations also was detained.

In another operation yesterday, an Iraqi army platoon with U.S. Special Forces as advisors detained a key suspected insurgent during an early morning raid in Najaf. Iraqi soldiers detained their primary suspect without incident, while two other suspicious individuals also were detained.

The primary suspect is believed to facilitate Iranian support for the rogue militia. He allegedly provides Jaysh al-Mahdi with improvised explosive devices and Iranian-made explosively formed projectiles used to attack coalition forces. He also is suspected of assisting JAM with cross-border training of their insurgent members and providing the group with financial support, weapons and equipment. The primary suspect is accused of exploiting charity organizations for insurgent recruiting purposes.

On July 14, Iraqi security forces and coalition forces killed two and injured two rogue Jaysh al-Mahdi terrorists conducting an ambush on Iraqi and coalition forces operating in Kut.

Iraqi and coalition forces killed two terrorists, injured two others and destroyed both IEDs in the process.

Meanwhile, insurgents killed one Iraqi civilian and wounded four others as six indirect fire attacks landed in Baghdad neighborhoods July 14-15.

-- In the Jazair area of eastern Rashid, six mortar rounds impacted into two separate areas, killing one civilian and wounding four others. Coalition forces responded to the attacks, treating the wounded at the sites and escorting others to a nearby clinic and hospital.

-- In the Mashtal neighborhood in eastern Baghdad, three mortar rounds impacted for the second day in a row.

-- The Babil and Jamil neighborhoods in Rusafa also received one mortar round each.

-- The Amin area in Rusafa received five indirect fire rocket rounds in the early morning hours yesterday. The rockets caused no injuries but did minor damage to a building.

"Extremists continue to use indirect-fire attacks that injure and kill innocent Iraqis," said Army Brig. Gen. John F. Campbell, deputy commanding general of Multinational Division Baghdad and 1st Cavalry Division. "The coalition and Iraqi security forces will continue to seek out and stop those responsible for these attacks."

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq, Multinational Corps Iraq, and Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Arabian Peninsula news releases.)

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