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American Forces Press Service

U.S., Iraqi Soldiers in Baghdad Kill 48 Insurgents, Capture 11

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2008 – U.S. and Iraqi security forces killed 48 insurgents and captured 11 others during a series of operations conducted across Baghdad yesterday, military officials reported.

In operations yesterday:

-- Coalition forces in western Baghdad captured an alleged associate of al Qaeda in Iraq’s southern belt leadership.

-- North of Baghdad, coalition forces encountered two persons armed with AK-47 rifles. Perceiving hostile intent, the coalition force engaged the armed men, killing them. Four other suspected terrorists were detained.

-- U.S. soldiers killed five militants during a firefight in eastern Baghdad.

-- In southeastern Baghdad, Iraqi soldiers under attack by enemy small-arms fire responded and killed two insurgents and detained four other suspects.

-- U.S. soldiers were at a checkpoint in the Kadamiyah district when they came under enemy fire. A subsequent coalition air strike killed three insurgents and injured another.

-- In the Karkh district, U.S. soldiers detained an insurgent suspected of supplying weapons to militants involved in fighting in Basra.

-- U.S. soldiers killed an insurgent caught emplacing a roadside bomb in the New Baghdad area.

-- Three insurgents were killed by U.S. soldiers during an incident at another security checkpoint in Kadhamiyah.

-- A U.S. sniper killed an insurgent at a joint security station in New Baghdad.

-- U.S. aircraft engaged and killed 25 insurgents during operations in eastern Baghdad. Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team were investigating a possible point of origin for an indirect-fire attack when their armored vehicle encountered a roadside bomb. After the attack, the soldiers discovered a second roadside bomb. While attempting to secure the bomb, the soldiers came under fire from a nearby house. An enemy mortar team that was spotted on the house’s roof was engaged by coalition air-to-ground fire, killing 25 insurgents. “We will defend ourselves when attacked by armed criminals,” said Army Lt. Col. Steven Stover, a Multinational Division Baghdad spokesman. “We are not the aggressors, but we will defend ourselves and the Iraqi people with all resources available to us.”

-- U.S. soldiers in Baghdad killed six insurgents during operations in northeastern Baghdad. First, U.S soldiers engaged a three-man rocket-propelled-grenade team, killing all three. Later, another group of U.S. soldiers came under fire by a three insurgents on a nearby rooftop. The soldiers returned fire and killed all three insurgents.

In March 29 operations:

-- U.S. soldiers under insurgent attack at a checkpoint in Kadhamiyah requested air-to-ground support. An Apache AH-64 helicopter fired two missiles that killed two insurgents.

-- East of Fallujah, Iraqi army scouts detained a suspected al Qaeda leader. The detainee is linked to roadside-bomb attacks in March and June of last year, which resulted in the deaths of several coalition members.

-- In the village of Makhiat, near Mosul, Iraqi soldiers detained four suspected al Qaeda members and held five additional persons for questioning. The detainees are linked to attacks on Iraqi civilians and Iraqi and coalition forces. The detainees also are implicated in numerous kidnappings, torture and murders of innocent Iraqi civilians, as well as attacks on Iraqi and coalition security forces.

-- Soldiers with the 2nd Infantry Division’s 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team captured a key criminal leader in Diyala province near Sadiyah. The suspect is believed to be the leader of a criminal cell operating in the Khalis area and is linked to numerous bombings targeting local Iraqis as well as Iraqi and coalition forces. He also is believed to be an explosives expert who leads more than 300 criminals. Another key criminal also was detained during the operation. The second detainee is suspected of posing as an Iraqi policeman and has been implicated in the murder of 20 Iraqis and the burning of their homes. Two other individuals also were detained.

In other Iraq news, coalition forces killed three al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists and uncovered two dozen weapons caches during a five-day operation that targeted bomb-making cells in the Diyala River Valley that ended March 28.

Coalition forces discovered 12 booby-trapped houses as well as anti-aircraft weapons during five days of patrols near Khan Bani Saad, an area that had been used as a safe haven by terrorists.

During the operation, one terrorist was observed hiding in an area of reeds. The assault force repeatedly instructed the individual to come out, but he refused to comply with the ground forces' instructions. The ground force engaged the terrorist and killed him. Another suspect, hiding in a similar area, was detained when he followed instructions to surrender.

Surveillance teams observed two armed men digging in the road. Intelligence indicated the men were removing weapons from a buried cache. Coalition forces engaged and killed the terrorists. Two other terrorists wounded in the firefight were detained.

Coalition forces called in air-to-ground support to destroy the booby-trapped houses. Searching the area, coalition forces found anti-aircraft weapons, ammunition and vehicles with mounts for the weapons. In another area, terrorists had hidden vehicles prepared as car bombs and also had buried two bombs along a nearby road.

Coalition forces discovered additional weapons caches, bunkers and hidden fighting positions, some reinforced with concrete. The caches contained rockets, mortar rounds and launching devices, bomb-making materials, weapons and ammunition. The ground force also found several Iraqi police and military uniforms, body armor, license plates and other documents. The confiscated ordnance was destroyed.

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

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