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American Forces Press Service

Coalition Forces Target al Qaeda in Iraq's Tigris River Valley

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2007 – Coalition forces killed six terrorists and detained 21 suspects during operations over the past two days in Iraq’s Tarmiyah area and Tigris River Valley to disrupt al Qaeda senior leadership.

Several synchronized raids in Tarmiyah targeted the al Qaeda network operating in the northern belt around Baghdad, including its leaders. The network is responsible for car bombings, kidnappings, publishing extremist propaganda and operating an illegal court system in the area.

As coalition forces cleared a building, three men inside reached for weapons in the room. Coalition forces engaged and killed them.

A related assault force entered another target building and encountered an armed man who attempted to draw his weapon. Coalition forces engaged the armed man, killing him.

In another coordinated raid, a woman refused to comply with the interpreter's instructions. After the ground forces made several attempts to get her to comply, she lunged to reach behind some furniture. Coalition forces, perceiving a hostile threat to the force, engaged and killed her.

Coalition forces securing a target building nearby found an armed man hiding in a closet. When he was discovered, the armed man fired on the assault force, which returned fire in self-defense and killed him. The ground forces found a cache of weapons, including 25 mortar rounds, 30 high-explosive rounds, 5,000 anti-aircraft rounds and other ammunition. They also discovered four improvised explosive devices planted in the immediate area. A coalition explosives team safely destroyed the explosive devices, weapons and ammunition.

Over the two-day operation, coalition forces destroyed seven buildings believed to be used for terrorist activities. One building was destroyed by an air strike, while the other six were destroyed with ground munitions. Coalition forces detained 17 suspected terrorists during the operations in Tarmiyah.

Coalition forces extended their operations to the north while targeting advisors of al Qaeda senior leaders who had fled to an area south of Mosul. The ground forces detained two suspected terrorists during the operation there.

Forces in Mosul captured a suspected member of the Kirkuk car-bombing network during a raid. In another raid east of Balad, coalition forces used information from an operation Aug. 8 to target an al Qaeda operative who facilitates the movement of foreign terrorists. The ground forces detained one suspected terrorist.

"We're continuing to conduct precision operations to destroy al-Qaeda's networks and bring their members to justice so they cannot attack the Iraqi people," said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.

Earlier in the week, following tips from area residents, coalition troops uncovered a cache of explosives in an eastern Baghdad home Sept. 7. The cache, 11 mortars and about 200 pounds of explosives, was found in Baghdad’s Adhamiyah district. One suspect was detained at the cache site and is being held for further questioning.

“(This is) a great example of the way the people of Adhamiyah are working together against terrorism,” said Army 1st Sgt. Michael Keen, the senior noncommissioned officer for Troop A, 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment.

As a result of the unstable nature of the explosives, the cache was detonated on site by an explosive ordnance disposal team. The explosion caused some damage to adjacent buildings. Owners of nearby homes damaged in the controlled detonation were provided claims procedures to make repairs.

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

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