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American Forces Press Service

Iraq Operations Kill, Capture Dozens of Enemy Fighters

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2007 – Coalition and Iraqi forces killed or captured dozens of enemy fighters and terrorism suspects in operations over the last three days, military officials reported.

Three terrorists were killed and 44 suspected terrorists were detained during operations around Iraq today targeting terrorist leaders and their operational cells.

In a broad operation south of Baghdad, coalition forces raided 10 buildings in search of a religious law judge believed to be a cell leader for al Qaeda in Iraq. As the ground force approached the first target, a coalition security team killed two armed men seen taking up tactical positions.

As coalition forces secured the series of buildings, they detained 16 suspected terrorists who are believed to have ties to the targeted individual.

In another operation in Baghdad today, coalition Forces raided five buildings in search of an al Qaeda in Iraq cell leader. Members of the ground force killed a man armed with an automatic weapon who was seen maneuvering into a position to assault the force. The ground force detained 10 suspected terrorists for their alleged involvement with the al Qaeda in Iraq cell.

Also in Baghdad today, coalition forces targeted and captured two suspected terrorists allegedly involved in terrorist media operations. Intelligence reports indicate the two individuals work with media cells in Baghdad and Baqubah, officials said. Two other suspects were detained during the raid.

Coalition forces captured a suspected vehicle-bombing cell member in Baghdad today. Officials provided no futher details on that operation.

In a raid east of Ramadi today, coalition forces captured an alleged al Qaeda in Iraq financial emir and four of his associates. Intelligence reports indicate the targeted individual is also a close associate of an al Qaeda in Iraq emir and recently returned from Syria, where he allegedly facilitated the supply of weapons to terrorists in Iraq, officials said.

Coalition forces detained eight suspected terrorists during three coordinated raids today targeting the al Qaeda emir of Mosul, who also is believed to be the terror organization’s deputy emir of northern Iraq.

–Near Baqubah yesterday, coalition forces captured a suspected terrorist with close ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force without firing a shot. The captured suspect is accused of facilitating the transport of weapons and personnel from Iran into Iraq, including armor-busting explosively formed projectiles.
During the raid, coalition forces confiscated a large sum of U.S. currency, weapons and photographs of juveniles with weapons.

Members of the Iraqi army’s Ninewa special weapons and tactics team, with coalition forces as advisors, detained a man believed to be a battalion commander for an al Qaeda-affiliated group in western Mosul yesterday during an intelligence driven operation, officials said.

Iraqi forces also detained a second individual who allegedly controls 20 fighters who build and emplace improvised explosive devices in western Mosul. Five other suspected terrorists present during the operation also were detained.

The primary suspect is believed to be a former-regime army officer who controls six other emirs throughout Mosul. He reportedly is the liaison between the west side of the al Qaeda-affiliated group's commander and other battalion commanders.

In western Baghdad yesterday, Iraqi special operations forces and coalition forces killed an al Qaeda fighter and detained nine others suspected of insurgent activities during an early morning intelligence-driven raid. The troops received enemy fire while conducting their raid on a local residence. Iraqi forces killed the insurgent and detained nine individuals who were at the objective location.

The primary targets of this operation are alleged to be responsible for conducting small-arms and IED attacks on coalition forces and Iraqi civilians in the western Baghdad area, officials said. They also are believed to be responsible for the kidnapping and execution of two Iraqi soldiers.

Iraqi soldiers and U.S. paratroopers captured the alleged ringleader of a cell responsible for conducting rocket attacks on the people and security forces of North Babil in a July 18 operation.

Soldiers of the 8th Iraqi Army Division and paratroopers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 501st Airborne, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, conducted an air assault and joint raid as a part of the ongoing Operation Marne Avalanche and captured the rocket cell leader and another member of his team.

The joint force also seized nearly 130,000 Iraqi dinar, six AK-47 assault rifles with 16 loaded magazines, an Uzi submachine gun with two loaded magazines, a bolt-action sniper rifle with 95 rounds, a 9 mm pistol with magazines loaded with hollow point ammunition, and a Gladius.

Also on July 18, Multinational Division Baghdad attack helicopter crews killed three insurgents who were transporting weapons from a mosque and destroyed two enemy vehicles west of Baghdad. The Apache crews from 4th "Guns" Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, were called in after reports of insurgents carrying weapons outside of a mosque. They saw insurgents putting weapons into a cargo truck, and the pilots engaged the vehicle as it was traveling, destroying the vehicle and killing three insurgents.

The aircrews also saw an armed insurgent get into a silver sedan. Once the insurgent left the vehicle, the aircrews received clearance from the ground unit to engage the vehicle and destroyed it.

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

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