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American Forces Press Service

Coalition Forces Detain Dozens of Terrorists in Iraq Operations

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2007 – Coalition forces captured two wanted individuals and seven additional suspects during an operation today to disrupt al Qaeda networks in Iraq’s capital city.

The wanted individuals reportedly are al Qaeda leaders in the Karkh area and are believed to have been involved in planning a future car-bombing attack in the city. The two wanted individuals allegedly are close associates of several other senior leaders involved in the network’s car-bombing operations. In addition to the wanted individuals, the ground force detained seven suspects without incident.

Recent successful coalition forces operations have left the Karkh terrorist network in a severely degraded state, officials said. Over the last month, coalition forces have captured four other wanted individuals tied to the Karkh network who reportedly were involved in attacks against coalition forces and trying to re-establish the city's car-bombing operations.

“We’re continuing to go after the terrorists who threaten Baghdad’s security,” said Navy Cmdr. Scott Rye, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. “We want to make sure that terrorist cells cannot recover from their degraded state and carry out their brutal attacks.”

In other operations this week:

-- Iraqi special operations soldiers and U.S. Special Forces soldiers conducted a raid near Balad to capture a known terror cell leader reported to have conducted indirect-fire attacks against Logistics Support Area Anaconda. The cell also is suspected to have been involved in attacks against Iraqi security forces, coalition forces and Iraqi civilians in the area. Reporting indicates this cell was directly responsible for emplacing an improvised explosive device that killed three U.S. Air Force airmen near LSA Anaconda in November. During the operation, the al Qaeda leader was killed, and eight suspected terrorists were captured. Several 82 mm mortar rounds, assault rifles and loaded magazines, hand grenades, and body armor were found and destroyed during the operation.

-- In a separate operation, Iraqi security forces, advised by U.S. Special Forces soldiers, detained 47 suspects for questioning during a cordon-and-search operation of Aswad village. Iraqi forces conducted the operation to disrupt terrorist cells, safe houses and weapons-storage areas in the vicinity. All detainees were placed in the custody of Khalis Iraqi police. Two improvised explosive devices were discovered and destroyed on site.

-- Coalition forces captured a suspected “special groups” criminal element leader, killed two armed men in self-defense, wounded two others and detained five suspects during operations in the Hayy area, southeast of Baghdad. During the operation, ground forces came under assault by small-arms fire and engaged the armed men, killing two and wounding two others. The targeted individual and four others were detained. “Each capture of one of these criminals brings us one step closer to a secure future for Iraq,” said Army Capt. Vic Beck, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.

-- Coalition forces detained two suspected criminals during operations early Dec. 5 in the Kut area, southeast of Baghdad. The operations targeted an individual who reportedly received specialized weapons and tactical training, including in sniper rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, the construction of IEDs, and operational security. He also was suspected of being involved in training “special group” criminal element members on weapons and operational tactics. The individual reportedly is an associate of several other senior criminals involved in attacks on coalition forces. While in the target area, ground forces came under assault by small-arms fire. Two suspects were detained.

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

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