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American Forces Press Service

Coalition Troops Detain 12 in Iraq Operations

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2007 – Coalition forces detained 12 suspects during operations today targeting al Qaeda in central and northern Iraq.

-- Coalition forces captured a wanted individual during operations in Tarmiyah while targeting a foreign terrorist facilitator and associate of senior al Qaeda leaders. They also detained two other suspects without incident.

-- Coalition forces captured a wanted individual north of Samarra during operations targeting foreign terrorist facilitators and senior terrorist leader associates. The wanted individual is believed to be an al Qaeda leader in the area.

-- Coalition forces detained four suspects while targeting al Qaeda members responsible for assassination-style murders in Hawija. Coalition forces also targeted their associates in Mosul, detaining three suspects without incident.

-- Forces detained one suspect in Bayji while further targeting al Qaeda terrorists involved in kidnappings, money extortion and sectarian-related murders.

"We're continuously attacking al Qaeda in Iraq to bring down the networks responsible for conducting attacks against the Iraqi people," said Army Col. Donald Bacon, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.

In other operations today, coalition forces killed two armed men and detained five other suspected criminals during operations in the Khan Bani Said area, north of Baghdad.

The targeted individual reportedly was a significant facilitator and trainer specializing in explosively formed penetrators within “special group” criminal elements in the Khan Bani Said area and Baghdad who have not honored Muqtada al-Sadr's pledge for a ceasefire. The suspected criminal also reportedly was an associate of several other senior-level criminal element leaders who were involved in attacks on coalition forces.

During the assault on the targeted building, two armed men came out of the building with assault rifles aimed toward coalition forces. The ground force engaged the armed men, killing them in self-defense. During the operation, coalition forces detained five additional suspected criminals without incident.

"We will continue to show restraint towards those who honor Muqtada al-Sadr's pledge to stop attacks," said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "While Iraqi and coalition forces are making progress against criminals who are not honoring this pledge, their networks remain a dangerous enemy of Iraq that must be removed."

In operations earlier this week:

-- Apache helicopter crews killed three insurgents southeast of Baghdad after an attack on a coalition forces convoy Nov. 27. The attack originated from a house near the road the convoy was on near the Tigris River. The Apaches, from the 3rd Infantry Division, were called to engage the enemy forces in the house. After positive identification of the enemy was made and clearance was given by ground forces, the Apaches attacked the enemy forces at the house with 30 mm cannon and Hellfire missiles, killing three.

-- A group of local citizens turned in a weapons cache to a checkpoint in Hawr Rajab, Nov. 27. The cache consisted of seven blasting caps, 13 pressure plates, two fire extinguishers and 28 two-liter bottles filled with homemade explosives.

-- Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, were conducting a foot patrol near Maderiyah on Nov. 25 when they found an abandoned house with copper wires extending out of a window. This led them to believe the house was rigged with explosives. Iraqi citizens confirmed the house was abandoned. An explosive ordnance disposal team was called, and saw the copper wires were attached to blasting caps on jugs filled with homemade explosives. It was determined that approaching the house to destroy the bombs would be too much of a risk, so the area was cleared, and an Air Force F-16 destroyed the house.

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

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