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Al Qaeda Terrorist Leader in Samarra Killed in Assault

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 28, 2006 – Coalition forces killed the top al Qaeda terrorist in Samarra today after tracking him to a house north of the city.

Hamadi 'Abd al-Tahki al-Nissani was known as the al Qaeda "emir" of Samarra, meaning he was in a position of high leadership.

Based on intelligence reports, troops tracked the wanted terrorist and two others to a location about 15 kilometers north of Samarra. As they assaulted the house where the three men were known to be hiding, Nissani, who was armed, attempted to flee and was killed, U.S. officials said.

The ground troops also killed the other two armed terrorists inside the house. One, who had grenades strapped around his torso and one in his hand, was killed as he attempted to throw a grenade.

In the terrorists' car, parked next to the house, were a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher, multiple rockets, explosives, AK-47 assault rifles, ammunition, grenades, and a shotgun. The cache was destroyed on site.

Coalition forces also raided another related location, which resulted in the wounding and detention of one armed suspect. The troops found a suicide vest located in the front seat of his car along with an AK-47, which the suspect was carrying. The weapon and vest were destroyed. The injured suspect was medically evacuated for further treatment. His current condition is unknown. Civilians were present at both houses, but were not injured, U.S. military officials reported.

In other news from Iraq, Iraqi and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers discovered three weapons caches between April 25 and 26, and a suspected terrorist was killed near Najaf April 25.

Iraqi soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, and American troops from 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Multinational Division Baghdad, found two large weapons caches during a search in a rural community southeast of Baghdad April 26.

The first cache included tank mines, two of which were prepared as improvised explosive devices; 80 mm mortars; 60 mm mortars; a suicide vest; a 20 mm rocket prepared as an improvised explosive device; and an armored vest.

The second cache consisted of 250-pound aerial bombs, 155 mm artillery rounds, 120 mm artillery rounds, 82 mm mortars, 102 mm mortar rounds, rocket-propelled grenades, rocket-propelled motors, 60 mm mortar charges, 82 mm mortar charges, a hand grenade, blasting caps, fuses, rolls of detonation cord, RPG-launcher sights, RKG hand grenades, unidentified rockets, a long-range rifle, an improvised explosive device ready for use, artillery fuses, a large bag half full of 10-ounce primers, an AK-47, an RPG launcher; and TNT explosives.

A U.S. explosive ordnance team destroyed the weapons.

While conducting a combined cordon-and-search mission in a remote village southeast of Baghdad April 25, soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, and U.S. forces from 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, found a weapons cache. The cache consisted of IEDs encased in concrete, anti-tank mines, anti-personnel mines, .50-caliber machine guns, 55 mm mortar rounds, and homemade 60 mm mortar tubes. Iraqi army and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers destroyed the munitions.

Elsewhere in Iraq, soldiers from 1st Brigade, 8th Iraqi Army Division, along with coalition advisers, conducted an operation near Najaf April 25 in an attempt to detain a suspected terrorist assassin and IED maker. During the operation, the Iraqi soldiers were attacked with small-arms fire. They returned fire, killing the suspect. Three other people were detained and later released.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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