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American Forces Press Service

Coalition, Iraqi Forces Kill Three, Capture 31 in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2008 – Coalition and Iraqi forces killed three insurgents and captured 31 others, including a key Iranian-backed suspect, in operations in Iraq today and yesterday, military officials reported.

Coalition and Iraqi forces wrapped up two days of coordinated operations early today that resulted in the capture of 24 suspected terrorists in central Iraq.

Early today, forces near Haditha, northwest of Baghdad, detained eight suspects during an operation targeting terrorist leaders in Anbar province, and two additional suspects believed to be associated with Anbar province al-Qaida in Iraq leaders were captured in Baghdad.

During a separate operation today in Baghdad, forces detained four suspects believed to be associated with a man reportedly planning a suicide bombing. A suicide-bombing coordinator was the target of an operation early today in Tikrit, which netted one suspect.

Al-Qaida in Iraq's leadership networks were disrupted during three synchronized operations late yesterday near Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad. Coalition forces detained five suspects believed to be associated with regional al-Qaida in Iraq leaders.

Also yesterday, coalition forces dealt a blow to al-Qaida in Iraq’s improvised explosive device networks with the capture of a suspected terrorist in Tikrit, 100 miles north of Baghdad. The wanted man is believed to be an IED facilitator in the region and reportedly was planning several IED attacks in Tikrit in the near future. Forces detained an additional suspect during the operation.

In other operations yesterday:

-- Two terrorists were killed in Ash Shurah, south of Mosul, where troops were targeting a suspected al-Qaida operative. They stopped a vehicle believed to be occupied by the targeted man and called for the occupants to surrender. One of the men refused to comply with the assault force's instructions and revealed a suicide vest. Perceiving hostile intent, the assault force engaged and killed both men.

-- During a separate operation in Ash Shurah, coalition forces killed a wanted man believed to be involved with al-Qaida in Iraq’s military network in northern Iraq. The terrorist pulled a pistol on the assault force as they moved in to apprehend him. Acting in self-defense, the team engaged the man and killed him.

-- A second wanted man believed to be connected to al-Qaida in Iraq military networks in northern Iraq was captured in Hammam Al Alil, southeast of Mosul. The suspected terrorist also is believed to be involved in car-bomb and extortion operations in the area.

-- In Irbil, southeast of Mosul, coalition forces captured a wanted man and detained an additional suspect. The wanted man is believed to be involved with al-Qaida in Iraq media operations in the Tamim province.

-- Coalition forces captured a key suspect with the Iranian-funded Asaib Ahl al-Haq criminal network and three associates in the New Baghdad area of Baghdad. Acting on intelligence information, the troops targeted the network’s alleged regional operations leader, who is believed to be responsible for attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces, as well as running a network recruitment in the Baghdad area. He identified himself to forces and was apprehended without incident, along with three associates.

-- Coalition and Iraqi troops and members of the “Sons of Iraq” civilian security group seized four weapons caches in Baghdad that included 120 pounds of ammonium nitrate, 20 mortar rounds, a half-pound of propellant, nearly 400 rockets, 40 boxes of ammunition, two anti-aircraft machine guns with tripods, four SKS rifles, a 103 mm projectile, seven bags of M6 rocket-propelled grenade warhead tips, six boxes of M6 RPG warhead tips, seven RPD launchers, two RPG rounds and various bomb-making components.

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

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