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Iraqi Army Captures Death Squad Commander, Kidnapping Suspects

American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD, Oct. 25, 2006 – Special Iraqi army forces, aided by coalition advisors, captured a death squad leader and three people believed to have been involved in the kidnapping of a U.S. soldier in separate raids in the Iraqi capital’s Sadr City neighborhood, military officials reported.

Officials said Iraqi and coalition forces had credible intelligence on the location of an insurgent leader personally involved in and directing widespread death squad activity for numerous murder cells in eastern Baghdad. The ground assault force also planned to act on credible intelligence indicating that criminals involved in the kidnapping of a U.S. soldier were located in a Sadr City mosque.

Iraqi forces quickly secured the insurgent’s home in Sadr City and detained 10 suspected death squad members. The assault force suppressed enemy small-arms fire, and a supporting coalition aircraft neutralized enemy rocket-propelled grenade fire. Ten enemy fighters were killed and two were wounded, officials said.

The ground assault force left the site of the first raid and moved through Sadr City to the mosque where the kidnapping suspects were believed to be located. Iraqi forces secured the mosque, entered it, and detained three suspects for further questioning.

No Iraqi or coalition forces were reported injured. Hostile conditions prevented an assessment of civilian casualties, officials said.

(From a Multinational Corps Iraq news release.)

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