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American Forces Press Service

Coalition Forces Kill 13 Terrorists While Targeting Cell Leader

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17, 2007 – Coalition forces killed 13 terrorists and detained 12 suspected terrorists east of Tarmiyah, Iraq, during an operation today targeting an al Qaeda cell leader who provides guidance to senior terrorist leaders in Iraq.

Despite coalition forces' appeals for the terrorists to send out women and children to be taken to safety during the engagement, a boy was killed in a building with an armed terrorist who had engaged the ground forces.

"Terrorists continue to put innocent children in harm's way when they make bystanders unwitting participants in their illegal activities," said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "Their disregard for human life is contrary to the values of decent people everywhere."

In other operations this week, Iraqi forces with U.S. Special Forces advisors detained eight suspected terrorists, including the leader of a sniper cell in western Mosul on Aug. 15. Iraqi security forces detained an alleged sniper cell leader who operates in western Mosul.

Officials said intelligence indicates the targeted individual actively recruits snipers to his cell from other groups and smuggles these snipers back and forth over the western Iraqi border to receive advanced sniper training in Syria. The forces also seized weapons, ammunition and assorted documents at the suspect's residence.

Elsewhere, 3rd Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division, forces detained the leader of an al Qaeda terrorist smuggling cell in the Hamrin Ridge region Aug. 15. Five other suspicious individuals also were detained. The forces also found weapons and ammunition at the targeted location.

In addition, Iraqi police and citizen volunteers defeated a coordinated attack by 40 to 60 al Qaeda terrorists in Baqubah on Aug. 15, killing an estimated 21 insurgents. As the terrorists entered the city, police and a group of concerned local citizens called “Baqubah Guardians” engaged the first wave of attackers, killing seven. At least two suicide bombers were killed before they reached their intended targets when their bomb vests detonated prematurely.

The police requested coalition attack-helicopter support after the first engagement. Helicopters then engaged another large group of heavily armed fighters staging near the first attack site, killing or wounding an estimated 14 terrorists. Six citizens were killed and up to 20 more were wounded during this attack.

"Baqubah should be proud of their security forces and their citizen guardians today," said Army Col. Steve Townsend, commander of 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. "All fought side by side and soundly defeated a complex attack from a determined enemy. This thing could have been much worse had those suicide bombers reached their targets.”

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

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