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Terror Cell Leader Captured; Nine Terrorists, Two Marines Killed

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2005 – U.S. troops captured al Qaeda terror cell leader Ammar Abu Bara, alias Amar Hussein Hasan, during a July 27 cordon-and-search operation in Mosul, Iraq's third largest city, U.S military officials reported today.

Bara, reportedly one of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's most trusted operations agents in Iraq, was arrested by troops of the Army's 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team,) and Iraqi army soldiers. Bara replaced Abu Talha, former terror cell leader for the Mosul area, following his capture in early June.

Officials said a number of al Qaeda terrorist leaders have been captured in recent months in northern Iraq, leading to a more secure environment in the region. These captures have led to the systematic dismantling of the al Qaeda network in Mosul, military officials said.

Camp Fallujah officials reported that two Marines were killed in Cykla, about 120 miles west of Baghdad, July 28 when their unit came under attack by small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. The Marines were assigned to Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

Officials at Camp Blue Diamond in Ramadi reported that Iraqi security forces and U.S. Marines killed nine terrorists, five of them reportedly were Syrian nationals, who were using buildings as safe houses and firing positions in a small village west of Haditha.

Iraqi soldiers and U.S. Marines were conducting a security patrol in the city of Cykla when terrorists attacked them with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire from three different buildings. The joint patrol consisted of Iraqi soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, and Marines with 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team.

Air combatants from the 2nd Marine Air Craft Wing struck enemy positions with three laser-guided bombs and one Global-Positioning-System-guided bomb. The air strike destroyed all three buildings and caused minimal collateral damage to the surrounding community, according to U.S. officials. Coalition forces also detained two terrorists for questioning.

A single-vehicle accident claimed the life of a Task Force Baghdad soldier in central Baghdad on July 28. The soldier was taken to an Iraqi hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His body was later recovered by U.S. military authorities.

A 30-year-old Iraqi detainee died July 27 at the U.S.-run Camp Bucca prison camp in southern Iraq as a result of renal failure and other organ failure due to chronic malaria, U.S. military officials reported. The detainee was admitted to the field hospital July 3 following complaints of nausea.

Hospital officials said they believe the detainee contracted malaria prior to arriving at Camp Bucca in December 2004. The detainee was not diagnosed until recently, as he did not exhibit any symptoms, they noted, adding that he did not pose a contagious hazard to other detainees. His body will be transferred to his family upon completion of an autopsy, which is standing procedure for all detainees who die while in custody of coalition forces, officials said.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Task Force Baghdad news releases.)

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