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Iraqi Forces Net Multiple Insurgents, Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2006 – Iraqi security forces captured 25 suspected terrorists and killed one in multiple operations throughout Iraq July 19 and yesterday, military officials in Iraq reported.

Iraqi security forces conducted two separate operations in Baghdad yesterday, capturing four insurgents who may be involved in "extra judicial killing" cells.

The first operation by Iraqi security forces, a raid on back-to-back objectives in southwestern Baghdad, netted three primary targets. The first individual was a key insurgent leader believed to plan and coordinate insurgent operations in Baghdad, officials said. The second is allegedly involved in financing operations and supplying weapons to insurgents, and the third is believed to be involved in kidnapping Iraqi citizens, Iraqi police and Iraqi soldiers for ransom to finance insurgent activities.

He is also allegedly involved in murdering kidnapping victims and participating in attacks against coalition forces. Iraqi forces also seized three AK-47 assault rifles and three 9 mm pistols.

During a second raid in southern Baghdad, Iraqi army forces captured an individual known to provide improvised explosive devices and small arms to insurgent groups. Coalition force advisers were on hand during both operations, and both occurred without incident, U.S. officials said.

In another operation, soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 6th Iraqi Army Division, captured six suspected terrorists and a large weapons cache during a search in northwestern Baghdad July 19 at about 2 p.m. After receiving a tip from a concerned citizen, Iraqi army soldiers searched an apartment complex in the suburban area and seized six terrorists and a weapons cache.

The cache consisted of hand grenades, rocket-propelled-grenade launchers and grenades, artillery shells, a mortar system, Katusha rockets, machine guns, 300 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, 80 60 mm fuses, homemade explosives, 120 mm fuses, several batteries of varying voltage, a cluster bomb system, a homemade rocket launcher, several switches connected to fuses, 300 feet of time fuse, an improvised explosive device made with 120 mm fuses, artillery propellant, a hand-held radio, and detonation cord.

Elsewhere, soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, and Multinational Division Baghdad killed one terrorist and detained 10 others July 19 after a protracted firefight south of Baghdad.

At about 8 p.m., an Iraqi army patrol reported seeing mortars being fired from a blue truck and initiated a pursuit. The truck was being escorted by two vehicles carrying an unknown number of terrorists. The three vehicles separated as one stopped to engage the Iraqi army near a checkpoint.

The Iraqi soldiers engaged the terrorists in a small-arms battle and were soon supported by soldiers from 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, who immediately detained one terrorist who was observed shooting at Iraqi soldiers. Iraqi and U.S. soldiers were able to suppress the small-arms fire, killing one terrorist and detaining four others.

At about 10:30 p.m., U.S. soldiers responded to reports of explosions and small-arms fire coming from the village of Raquaba, where they found Iraqi soldiers engaging the blue truck and the second group of terrorists. Once again Iraqi and U.S. soldiers were able to suppress the terrorists, wounding one and detaining six. One Iraqi soldier was wounded during the second firefight.

In a separate operation, 9th Iraqi Army Division soldiers arrested an Iraqi citizen and discovered an IED north of Baghdad after acting on suspicious activity in the area July 19.

After discovering a possible IED, a cordon was put in place, and an explosive ordnance disposal team was called to the site. An Iraqi army patrol passing the site spotted four civilians hiding behind a wall. The Iraqi soldiers discovered one of the civilians in possession of a cell phone with a text message urging the recipient to detonate the IED. The suspect with the cell phone was detained, and EOD performed a controlled detonation of the device.

In another operation, Iraqi army soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 6th Iraqi Army Division, captured four suspected terrorists and a large cache of weapons in a raid on a suspected terrorist hideout in western Baghdad at about 7:30 p.m. July 19. The captured suspects and weapons cache were taken into custody by the Iraqi army.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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