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American Forces Press Service

Coalition Forces Kill Five Terrorists, Detain 37

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2007 – Five terrorists were killed and 37 suspected terrorists were detained today as coalition forces continued to put pressure on al Qaeda’s operations in Iraq.

Military officials reported the following details of today’s operations:

-- In the Tigris River Valley, coalition forces targeted an al Qaeda leader southwest of Balad who orders, finances and carries out attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces in Salah ad Din province. Reports indicated this leader recently assumed a position coordinating terrorist logistics between Baghdad and Mosul, and may have been trying to obtain chemical weapons for use in attacks against coalition forces. After ground forces secured the target building, they received small-arms fire from a nearby building. Coalition forces responded in self-defense and returned fire, killing five armed terrorists. Four additional suspected terrorists were detained.

-- In the New Baghdad District of eastern Baghdad, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers captured 24 suspected insurgents during a clearing operation. The operation, carried out by soldiers of Company D, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, attached to the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, was part of ongoing efforts to clear insurgent strongholds in the area. The 24 suspects were being held for questioning.

-- In the northern city of Bayji, coalition forces captured the alleged administrative emir of Haditha, who was believed to be residing in Bayji because of Iraqi and coalition forces' pressure on al Qaeda in Haditha. Two other suspected terrorists were detained as well.

-- In southern Baghdad, coalition forces captured a suspected key leader in that city's car-bombing network. Reports indicate the individual had moved into the leadership position after his predecessor was detained in a June 10 operation and the previous leader was detained May 29. Several other leaders in this network were either killed or captured in the past two months. Coalition forces also detained five other suspected terrorists during the raid.

-- During operations to locate al Qaeda safe houses north of Tarmiyah, coalition forces found a building containing homemade explosives and rigged with command detonation wires. An explosives team with the ground forces safely destroyed the materials on site.

"Al Qaeda in Iraq is feeling the pressure from our operations to disrupt their nefarious activities," said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "We will continue to hunt the terrorists who seek to thwart Iraq's progress."

In operations over the past two days:

-- Iraqi special operations forces and Iraqi security forces, with U.S. Special Forces as advisors, detained 11 members of the Jaysh al Mahdi militia, including a company commander, during separate operations Aug. 29 and Aug. 30 in Karbala. Intelligence indicated that one of the detained Shiia extremists is linked to the Aug. 22 assassination of the mayor of Husaniyah. During the operations, the forces received enemy small-arms fire and returned proportional fire, killing one enemy fighter and wounding another. The wounded individual was evacuated to a medical facility for treatment. No Iraqi or U.S. Special Forces members were injured during the operations.

-- Iraqi special operations forces, with U.S. Special Forces as advisors, detained a suspected al Qaeda emir and a terrorist cell member during an operation Aug. 30 in Baghdad. Reports indicate the emir has directed and conducted kidnappings and murders of local nationals. The Sunni extremist is believed to have participated in indirect-fire attacks against local citizens. The suspects are being detained for questioning for their involvement in the injury and death of Iraqi citizens and other criminal activity.

-- Marines from Regimental Combat Team 6 observed and engaged an armed group of al Qaeda terrorists killing 12 Iraqis and destroying two vehicles near the town of Karmah on Aug. 29. A group of three men was seen loading objects into a truck northeast of Fallujah, in an area known to be a weapons cache site. A second group of four men arrived in another truck, followed by a third group of six men on foot. A team of Marines was dispatched to better observe the scene and a third cargo truck carrying three men waving weapons and wearing ski masks approached the group a few moments later. The Marines called for air support and jets dropped two precision-guided bombs, destroying the first two cargo trucks. Marines called for artillery fire on the dismounted enemy personnel immediately following the air attack. Twelve members of al Qaeda were found dead upon investigation of the scene. Numerous weapons and roadside bomb-making materials also were found. All unexploded ordnance was removed from the scene and transported to a coalition base for investigation and disposal.

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

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