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American Forces Press Service

Troops Kill 37 Insurgents, Nab Four, Seize Weapons in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5, 2007 – Iraqi and coalition forces killed 37 enemy fighters, detained four suspects and seized weapons caches in Iraq over the past three days, military officials said.

West of Baqubah today, coalition forces received heavy fire from combatants during an operation targeting a “special groups” commander believed to be associated with members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds Force. Intelligence indicates the suspect is involved in moving weapons from Iran to Baghdad and other criminal activities.

As enemy fire intensified, troops returned fire and called in air support. The armed group continued to engage and began advancing toward coalition forces, firing assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades. Troops also observed one armed individual carrying what appeared to be an anti-aircraft weapon into a nearby building. Supporting aircraft engaged and killed an estimated 25 insurgents and destroyed two buildings.

“We continue to support the government of Iraq in welcoming the commitment by Muqtada al-Sadr to stop attacks, and we will continue to show restraint in dealing with those who honor his pledge,” said Army Maj. Anton Alston, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. “We will not show the same restraint against those criminals who dishonor this pledge by attacking security forces and Iraqi citizens.

“Coalition forces will take the necessary action against these criminals to protect the Iraqi people against future terrorist acts,” Alston added.

Elsewhere in Iraq today:

-- Coalition forces killed seven suspected terrorists and detained another during an operation in the Iraqi capital targeting senior al Qaeda leaders.

-- During a raid aimed at dismantling Baghdad’s foreign terrorist facilitation ring, coalition forces captured one wanted individual who allegedly is the courier for Baghdad’s southern belt and is involved in financing terrorists in the area.

-- Coalition forces near Yusufiyah killed four terrorists, including an al Qaeda associate believed to be a foreign terrorist facilitator. The wanted terrorist also was alleged to have close ties to former regional emir Abu Usama al-Tunisi. At the site, troops found several rifles, grenades and a backpack with explosive material.

-- Troops killed one terrorist in Kirkuk while targeting an alleged al Qaeda foreign terrorist facilitator operating in Tamim province. Coalition forces detained another suspect at a nearby house.

-- In Samarra, coalition forces conducted an operation to deny sanctuary to al Qaeda operatives and captured a wanted terrorist who identified himself to troops.

Meanwhile, coalition forces are investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths of three civilians slain yesterday in Abu Lukah village, north of Musayyib. The civilians were near a “concerned citizen” checkpoint when coalition forces shot and killed them.

On Oct. 3, a group of Iraqi citizens provided a tip that led soldiers from Company D, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry, to a large weapons cache east of Baghdad. Troops seized 49 mortar rounds, 200 7.62 mm rounds, four propellant tubes, and various military paraphernalia. Coalition forces also detained one suspicious individual.

“Concerned citizens know their neighborhoods the best,” said Army Maj. Rhett Griner, the effects coordinator for 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team. “They have a vested interest in eradicating thugs and criminals from their communities.”

Civilian tipsters have led coalition forces to eight caches and 11 improvised explosive devices since early July, Griner said.

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

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