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American Forces Press Service

Soldiers Detain Suspected al Qaeda Leader; Citizens Foil Car Bomb Attack

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 17, 2007 – A suspected al Qaeda leader is among three terrorism suspects detained today in Mosul, Iraq, by coalition and Iraqi forces, and local citizens helped to foil a car-bomb attack in eastern Baghdad.

Officials also reported that a firefight yesterday left about 12 enemy fighters dead.

Among the three suspects captured in Mosul is an alleged al Qaeda leader believed to have been promoted within the organization after recent coalition operations created numerous vacancies in the terrorist organization’s leadership structure.

Intelligence reports also indicate the individual is responsible for mortar and sniper attacks against Iraqi forces and a December attack against coalition forces, officials said.

Also today, troops responded to a phone call to the Adhamiyah Joint Security Station, and residents of the eastern Baghdad district then helped foil an attempted car bombing.

When the troops arrived at the scene, about 30 residents identified a parked vehicle as a possible car bomb. Investigation revealed they were correct, and the explosives were removed from the vehicle and safely detonated.

In other news from Iraq, troops killed about 12 insurgents during a firefight yesterday in eastern Baghdad after coming under attack by small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades.

The incident began when insurgents attacked paratroopers from the 1st "Red Devil" Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, attached to the 2nd Infantry Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, in the Fadhl neighborhood of the Rusafa district. The soldiers returned fire and called for attack aviation support in what became a three-hour engagement. The insurgents were heard using the public address system of a local mosque in an appeal for more of their forces to engage coalition forces.

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

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