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American Forces Press Service

Coalition Forces Detain 14 Suspects, Kill Six Terrorists

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2007 – Coalition forces killed six terrorists and captured 14 in operations over the past three days in central and northern Iraq, officials reported.

Coalition forces captured two wanted terrorists and detained an additional 10 suspects during operations today. In Baghdad, coalition forces captured an associate of al Qaeda in Iraq believed to be a foreign terrorist facilitator with ties to terrorist safe houses in the region.

Coalition forces detained seven suspected terrorists during two coordinated operations along the Tigris River Valley. West of Samarra, ground forces targeted alleged associates of an al Qaeda in Iraq group responsible for attacks in and around Huwaish. Intelligence reports indicate that one of the individuals has ties to an al Qaeda in Iraq senior leader and his security network and has held meetings with numerous terrorists in the target area. The ground force captured one wanted individual and detained two additional suspects on site.

In another operation west of Tarmiyah, coalition forces targeted an alleged associate of Abu Usama al-Tunisi, the former emir of the southern belt who was killed during an operation Sept. 25. The targeted individual is believed to be involved in foreign terrorist facilitation in Tarmiyah and Taji. The ground force detained four suspected terrorists on site without incident.

Farther north, coalition forces conducted an operation targeting an alleged al Qaeda in Iraq senior leader in Kirkuk. Intelligence reports also indicate that the targeted individual has numerous connections to al Qaeda in Iraq members operating in Mosul. The ground force detained two suspected terrorists on site in Kirkuk. Another two suspects were detained in Mosul during an operation targeting an associate of al Qaeda in Iraq senior leaders in the city.

“We’re not waiting for al Qaeda to strike, we’re going after them where they hide,” said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. “These operations are examples of the continued success we’re having against al Qaeda in Iraq and the foreign terrorists they facilitate.”

In other operations, coalition forces killed six terrorists and detained two suspects Oct. 1 and yesterday in the central part of the country.

West of Balad yesterday, coalition forces conducted an operation targeting associates of an al Qaeda in Iraq member believed to be the key communications link between senior leaders of al Qaeda and al Qaeda in Iraq. When the ground force approached the target, they were engaged by an armed man who emerged from a vehicle. Coalition forces returned fire, killing two terrorists and igniting the vehicle. The ground force also detained one suspect on site.

Early Oct. 1, coalition forces discovered three men attempting to reseed improvised explosive devices in an area where the ground force had previously destroyed several IEDs. Perceiving hostile intent, coalition forces engaged, killing one terrorist. The ground forces searched a nearby building in the same location and discovered two IED pressure plates, which were safely destroyed on site. That afternoon, surveillance elements witnessed three men emplacing several IEDs along a canal road. Coalition forces called an air strike on the target, killing the three terrorists.

During a two-day operation, coalition forces also discovered three significant weapons caches at a local school reported to be used as an al Qaeda in Iraq safe house and mortar team staging area. Numerous weapons and ammunition were found on site, to include mortar rounds, rocket-propelled grenades, pressure plates, blasting caps, rockets reported to be used as surface-to-air weapons in field expedient rocket launchers, hand grenades, IED-making material and a training manual. The ground force detained one suspect during the operation.

“Successful operations like these will assist the Iraqi people in their reconciliation efforts,” Danielson said. “We will continue dismantling al Qaeda so Iraqis can regain control of their villages.”

In Iraq operations Sept. 30:

-- Iraqi security forces with U.S. Special Forces advisors detained four suspected extremists in two separate operations in southern Iraq. The individuals detained include a suspected “special groups” member in Nasariyah suspected of conducting IED and indirect-fire attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces, and an extremist in Hay Aamel who is responsible for multiple IED attacks on Iraqi and coalition forces. The assault force found several tools or devices that were used to conduct kidnapping and torture. The devices consisted of electric saws, drills and ropes. Three other suspicious men were detained for further questioning.

-- Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers prevented a pair of roadside bombs from detonating in East Rashid. Troops from the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment "Wolfpack," spotted one IED consisting of two 60 mm mortar rounds with wire while conducting clearing operations in Doura. Soldiers with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment "Warriors," also foiled a potential roadside-bomb strike when, acting on a tip from a resident, they entered a neighborhood and observed an individual acting suspiciously. After that person fled the area, a careful search of the vicinity uncovered a 155 mm artillery shell rigged to explode.

-- Elements of 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, and Iraqi National Police conducted a raid east of Baghdad resulting in the detention of a high-value individual and three other suspected extremists. Soldiers from Troop A and the time-sensitive target platoon of 3-1 Cav. Regt. conducted the raid with their police partners to kill or capture the individual and to deny extremists sanctuary in the regiment's area of operation. The individual is suspected of maintaining a leadership position in a local extremist network. Information obtained by the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team officials links the individual to indirect fire attacks against coalition forces and weapons smuggling.

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

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