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Coalition Kills 15 Terrorists, Detains 6, Captures Senior Leader

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2006 – Coalition forces in Iraq killed 15 terrorists and detained six other suspects and a senior terrorist leader during raids yesterday and today near Baqubah, military officials reported today.

Arriving to a planned raid today, coalition forces came under immediate small-arms fire from a rooftop, officials said. The ground force returned fire, killing nine armed terrorists on the rooftop, and supporting fire from coalition aircraft killed two more armed terrorists firing on coalition forces from beside the building.

Following this initial contact, officials said, coalition forces found 10 AK-47 assault rifles, a shotgun, a pistol and a crate of explosives.

One supporting aircraft was damaged when it hit utility wires during the engagement, and was forced to make a controlled landing. There were no injuries to the crew and the ground force immediately secured the site, officials said. Supporting fire from another coalition aircraft killed three armed suspects as they attempted to attack the downed aircraft.

After securing the aircraft, coalition forces moved to assault the building that several terrorists had fled to following the first contact. A coalition sniper killed one terrorist as he attempted to engage the troops from the nearby rooftop.

The force cleared the buildings, detaining three terrorists who were found hiding among nine women. None of the women was injured. One detained terrorist was wounded at the initial target building after he engaged coalition forces, officials said.

Officials said the suspected senior al Qaeda in Iraq member captured in yesterday's raid is known to be involved in facilitating foreign terrorists throughout central Iraq, and is suspected of having ties to previous attacks on coalition and Iraqi forces. Troops found an AK-47 with several magazines of ammunition and destroyed them all on site.

Several women and children were present at the raid sites, officials said. None was harmed, and all were returned to their homes once the troops ensured the area was secure, they added.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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