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American Forces Press Service

Troops Kill 1, Capture 24 in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2007 – Iraqi and coalition forces killed one suspected terrorist and detained 24 others in Iraq over the past two days, military officials said.

During operations to disrupt criminal networks this morning, coalition forces captured two suspected “special groups” leaders and detained three other suspects near Baghdad in the Mashru and Kadhimiya areas. Intelligence led ground forces to the target area south of Baghdad in Mashru, where they captured one criminal group leader and detained another suspected criminal.

The targeted individual reportedly trained criminal splinter group members to attack coalition and Iraqi forces with explosively formed penetrators and improvised explosive devices, military officials said. He reportedly associated with several other senior criminal leaders responsible for attacks on troops.

In an operation west of Baghdad in Kadhimiya, ground forces captured a senior criminal group leader and detained two other suspected criminals. The alleged senior special groups leader is believed to be responsible for supplying materials for use in explosively formed penetrator attacks. He reportedly controlled a group of criminal cells operating in Baghdad and is linked to several other senior-level criminal leaders involved in attacks on coalition forces, military officials said.

“Coalition forces continue to conduct operations designed to diminish the facilitation of terrorist activities Iraq,” said Navy Capt. Vic Beck, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.

During coordinated operations in Baghdad yesterday and today, troops detained two wanted individuals in al Qaeda’s media and propaganda network. The suspects also reportedly are associates of a suspected terrorist who was detained by coalition forces Dec. 9 for his role in the same network. At the targeted site, the ground force discovered caches of media and propaganda materials. Ground forces also detained four suspected terrorists.

During an operation in Tarmiyah today, coalition forces detained a wanted individual believed to be closely associated with a leader in the northern Baghdad al Qaeda network. The wanted individual reportedly is associated with senior terrorists in the network, which is responsible for car-bomb and IED attacks, as well as extortion, intimidation, weapons trafficking and facilitating foreign terrorists. In addition to the wanted individual, the ground force detained one suspected terrorist.

Coalition forces in Kirkuk conducted an operation targeting an alleged al Qaeda cell leader today. The targeted individual reportedly is involved in planning and executing terrorist operations in the province and was associated with Abu Harith, the former leader of the Kirkuk terrorist network who was killed during a coalition operation Nov. 21.

During the operation, an armed man emerged from the targeted building and displayed hostile behavior. Coalition forces engaged and killed him. During the engagement, an explosion occurred, indicating the individual may have been armed with explosive material. Troops detained one suspected terrorist on site.

In Mosul, coalition forces detained seven suspected terrorists today while targeting an individual believed to be involved in an illegal terrorist court system. The suspect also is responsible for facilitating the storage and maintenance of weapons caches in the area, military officials said.

During an operation south of Hawijah yesterday, coalition troops detained three suspects while targeting associates of the terrorist network in Kirkuk.

“Al Qaeda in Iraq remains a threat to the Iraqi people,” said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. “Iraqi and coalition forces are working together to dismantle their terrorist networks and bring stability to Iraq.”

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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