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Iraqi, Coalition Forces Kill, Capture Terrorists, Find IEDs

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 9, 2006 – Iraqi and coalition forces captured and killed terrorists, found an improvised explosive device and responded to a series of deadly IED attacks in recent days, officials in Iraq reported.

"Bastogne" soldiers of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, discovered an IED in a village graveyard near Kirkuk yesterday. While Iraqi police cordoned off the graveyard, soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, searched for the reported IED and found a 122mm projectile rigged to detonate. This was the second time this week IEDs have been found in the graveyard. An IED detonated there April 6, destroying one of the graveyard structures.

"Insurgents trying to disrupt progress and democracy in Iraq do not care who or what they destroy in their attacks. Their only goal is chaos," said Army Maj. Greg Bishop, 1st BCT spokesman. "The good news is that IED attacks in Kirkuk have dropped nearly 15 percent since the December national elections."

In other activity, 1st BCT soldiers captured two suspected terrorist cell leaders and eight other alleged insurgents during combined cordon-and-search missions with an Iraqi police emergency services unit in Kirkuk Apr. 7.

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment of the 1st BCT provided oversight as Iraqi police searched two suspect homes. The homes belonged to a suspected Islamic army cell leader wanted in connection with a plot to kidnap a project manager for a regional environmental corporation, officials said.

The reported terrorist cell leader and six other suspects present in the homes at the time of capture were detained and are being questioned by the Iraqi police. Soon after this successful operation, the so-called "No Slack battalion" soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, and their Iraqi counterparts detained three Arab males during a cordon and search of two more houses.

One of the three detainees is suspected of being the leader of a terrorist cell responsible for infrastructure attacks in and around Kirkuk, officials said. These detainees were taken to a nearby U.S. military compound for questioning.

Also in Iraq, Bastogne soldiers and Iraqi security forces jointly captured 62 terrorist suspects in the past three days, including a terrorist who has been financing and leading infrastructure attacks in Riyadh, southwest of Kirkuk, officials announced.

Since deploying to Kirkuk last November, the 1st BCT has been training and fighting with Iraqi army and police units. U.S. troops said these joint missions help to build the skills and confidence of the Iraqi security forces.

In other news, two terrorists in Baqubah were killed yesterday when an IED that they were constructing detonated prematurely. The explosion occurred at a local house shortly after 8 p.m.

Iraqi soldiers and police, along with Task Force Band of Brothers soldiers from the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, heard the explosion and quickly located the house. A search revealed weapons, IED components and other completed IEDs hidden in and around the house. The munitions and IEDs were safely destroyed in a series of controlled detonations, and the Baqubah police are investigating the incident, officials said.

In Muysayyib, six Iraqi citizens died and 19 were wounded at approximately 3 p.m. yesterday when a vehicle-borne IED detonated in a market. Several stores reportedly were damaged from the incident.

Earlier media reports erroneously reported that a mortar round struck a mosque. Iraqi police and soldiers from Multinational Division Baghdad, 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, cordoned off the area and provided security as fire trucks and ambulances arrived at the scene to assist the wounded. The incident is under investigation by Iraqi authorities.

Finally, coalition forces killed eight terrorists during a raid today some 22 kilometers northwest of Baghdad in the vicinity of Hamaniyah. Coalition forces were searching for bomb making and storage locations, officials said.

As the coalition forces ordered occupants to exit an identified safe house and nearby tent, two suspects ran from the tent. At least one suspect was armed, and both moved to take fire positions. Coalition forces then engaged the two fleeing suspects before receiving automatic and small arms fire from the north and south.

The troops engaged and killed five terrorists in the tent. The ground force commander simultaneously called for close-air support to neutralize the machine gun fire coming from northwest of his position. Three terrorists were killed in the ensuing air strike.

Coalition troops then ordered the occupants to exit the safe house. None of the terrorists complied with that order, and so the troops forcibly entered the house, where they found IEDs and weapons and detained two suspects, officials said. Numerous weapons, ammunition, and falsified documents were also found in the targeted safe house and nearby tent.

A woman who was injured during the operation was treated onsite and medically evacuated to the 10th Combat Support Hospital for further treatment and evaluation. The treating physician has listed her in stable condition as of this morning.

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

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