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American Forces Press Service

19 Terrorists Killed, 80 Detained During Four Days of Operations in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2007 – Coalition and Iraqi forces killed 19 terrorists and detained some 80 others during operations in Iraq since Sept. 20.

Forces targeted an alleged emir of foreign terrorists for Kirkuk province today. As ground forces secured the area, several armed individuals engaged the coalition forces. The ground forces engaged the men and called in close-air support. Eight terrorists were killed, officials said. Inside one of the buildings at the target area, coalition forces found a weapons cache that an explosives team destroyed.

In other operations today:

-- Coalition forces targeted an al Qaeda in Iraq senior leader for his alleged involvement in foreign terrorist facilitation and involvement in a kidnapping network northeast of Samarra, officials said. When ground forces approached the targeted building, they were met by small-arms fire. They engaged the terrorists, killing two, officials said. Two suspected terrorists were detained during the operation.

-- Coalition forces west of Tarmiyah targeted an associate of an al Qaeda in Iraq military emir of the northern belts around Baghdad. Officials said the ground forces detained seven suspected terrorists during the operation including an individual believed to be associated with an al Qaeda in Iraq senior leader responsible for weapons supply in northern Baghdad.

-- Coalition forces conducted three operations targeting al Qaeda in Iraq leaders near Tikrit. The forces detained eight suspected terrorists, including a suspect believed to be involved in a car-bombing network and in numerous attacks against coalition and Iraqi security forces.

-- Coalition forces targeted another al Qaeda in Iraq senior leader involved in a car-bombing network in Baghdad. Officials said five suspected terrorists were detained.

“Iraqi and coalition forces continue to go after terrorists who threaten Iraq’s security,” said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. “We’re applying the pressure so the terrorist cells cannot recover and carry out their brutal attacks.”

In operations yesterday:

-- Iraqi security forces with U.S. Special Forces advisors detained eight suspected terrorists in Diyala and Tikrit during two early-morning raids.

-- Iraqi special operations forces in Diyala province detained four suspected terrorists linked to a criminal financier and weapons trafficker. A weapons cache also was seized, officials said.

-- During a separate raid in Tikrit, 4th Iraqi Army Division soldiers detained four alleged criminals. Officials said two of the detainees are believed to be responsible for numerous attacks against coalition forces. The raid is also believed to have disrupted a possible forgery operation where food credits from the social welfare system were being filtered to insurgents, officials said.

-- Iraqi security forces detained a suspected criminal weapons smuggler in Kut. Intelligence reports indicated the alleged smuggler is a former Badrah Iraqi police officer who directed rocket smuggling from Badrah to Kut. Officials said he also directed rocket attacks against Iraqi and coalition facilities.

-- Iraqi army forces in Baghdad detained a suspected al Qaeda cell leader who specialized in improvised explosive devices.

In other news from Iraq, coalition forces killed eight terrorists and detained 25 suspected terrorists during a two-day operation that ended yesterday in the Tigris River Valley. Officials said the operation was designed to disrupt al Qaeda in Iraq’s senior leadership.

“Iraqi and coalition security forces are systematically dismantling al Qaeda in Iraq and its networks,” Danielson said. “Our disruption of their operations hinders their ability to attack innocent Iraqis.”

In earlier operations:

-- Coalition forces positively identified a terrorist killed in an operation Sept. 21 in Baghdad as a key leader in the city’s car-bombing network. Rafid Latif Jasim Muhammed Sabah, also known as Abu Taghrid or Abu Azar, was a key leader in the organization of al Qaeda in Iraq’s Baghdad military and car bombing operations, according to officials. “This was a dangerous terrorist who is thankfully no longer part of al Qaeda in Iraq’s car-bombing network in Baghdad,” Danielson said.

-- Iraqi forces with U.S. Special Forces advisors detained four militant extremists and two al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists during two operations Sept. 20 in the Baghdad area. During one of the operations, Iraqi special operations forces detained an alleged militant extremist commander and three suspected terrorists in the Aamel area of Baghdad. One other high-level extremist and two suspected terrorists were also detained during the operation.

-- Soldiers from 6th Iraqi Army Division detained two Sunni extremists during an operation in Arab Jabour. Officials said one of the detainees is suspected of commanding a cell that kills civilians and specializes in IED attacks.

-- Paratroopers of 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, detained 14 suspected terrorists in Hawr Rajab. Of the 14 detainees, eight were identified by concerned citizens as members of an IED cell, two as IED emplacers, and one as a known insurgent. The operation also yielded a cache of 200 feet of wire, one AK-47 assault rifle, a full magazine and four empty magazines, officials said. The mission was part of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division’s Marne Torch II, an operation designed to reduce insurgent activity south of Baghdad and stem the flow of explosives, weapons and insurgents into the capital city.

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

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