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Iraqi Police Detain Suspects; Coalition Forces Kill Assassination Team

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 2006 – Iraqi police detained eight suspected insurgents from a government building in Fallujah, Iraq, today, and coalition forces killed an al Qaeda assassination team in Fallujah on Oct. 31, military officials in Iraq reported.

Iraqi police officers detained eight Iraqi local nationals, including three of the Fallujah mayor’s personal security officers, for suspected insurgent activity after receiving attacks from a government building today in downtown Fallujah.

Following a rocket-propelled-grenade attack on the Joint Coordination Center in the heart of the city, Marines from Regimental Combat Team 5 were attacked with small-arms fire from a mosque. The Marines established positive identification of the target, returned fire and commenced to cordon off the area surrounding the mosque. Soon thereafter, Iraqi police officers arrived on the scene and entered the mosque.

A grenade was subsequently hurled at the Marines from a government building near the mosque, so the Iraqi police, with the Marines in support, gained entry to the structure and uncovered multiple AK-47s, ammunition and magazines.

The eight local nationals, seven of whom are employed in the government center, are not authorized by the Fallujah government to bear arms and were detained for further questioning.

In another operation, coalition forces killed an al Qaeda assassination team in Fallujah on Oct. 31. Coalition snipers heard gunshots and quickly responded to the murder of an off-duty Fallujah policeman by gunmen in civilian clothes. The Marines from 1st Battalion, 24th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 5, immediately engaged the armed gunmen and killed two of them. The third gunman was killed as he attempted to flee in a vehicle.

“We honor the service of the Fallujah policeman, Hamed Mohammed Jassim,” said coalition spokesman Marine Lt. Col. Bryan Salas. “He stood against the murder and intimidation campaign of the terrorists to help bring security and prosperity to his neighbors in Fallujah. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Assault rifles and other items were recovered from the gunmen.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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