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Two Terrorist Leaders Captured in Iraq; Insurgent Killed

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2007 – Coalition forces have captured two high-level terrorists in recent days in Iraq, military officials said, and Iraqi police killed one insurgent Jan. 17.

Special Iraqi army forces, with coalition advisors, captured a high-level terrorist leader today during operations in eastern Baghdad, military officials said. The suspect is allegedly affiliated with Abu Dura and other Baghdad death squad commanders, and is responsible for assassinating numerous Iraqi security forces members and government officials. Military officials said he has also organized kidnappings, torture and murder of Iraqi civilians.

During operations in Samarra yesterday, Iraqi police forces with coalition advisors captured the suspected leader of several al Qaeda in Iraq terror cells. The suspect is responsible for directing several IED and small arms attacks against Iraqi security forces, coalition forces and Iraqi civilians. During the operation, combined forces captured an additional insurgent and confiscated IED components, assault rifles and ammunition.

As a sign of continuing progress in Anbar province, Iraqi police shot and killed an insurgent Jan. 17 after his suicide vest failed to detonate near a checkpoint in the Jazeera suburb of Ramadi.

Iraqi police in Anbar province determined the terrorist was wearing a suicide device before he entered the checkpoint, and they instructed him to stop. The terrorist attempted to detonate the device, but it failed. As the insurgent attempted to flee the scene, police at the checkpoint shot and killed him.

"This is an example of the insurgents' attempt to discourage the men of Anbar from serving on the police force,” Marine 2nd Lt. Jill A. Leyden, a Multinational Force West spokeswoman, said. “Despite these attempts, well qualified men continue to flood the recruiting and training centers for an opportunity to serve their province."

As another sign of progress, more than 1,000 recruits joined the Iraqi police in Anbar this month. The province has added 11 police stations since July, and eight more are planned for construction.

Elsewhere in Iraq this week, coalition forces and Iraqi police discovered four weapons caches.

Paratroopers from 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, today discovered three weapons caches containing roughly 250 rockets, several large-caliber machine guns and small arms, various artillery rounds, and bomb-making materials south of Samarra.

Iraqi police from Wallah police station, with assistance from Jerashi checkpoint workers, found two weapons caches Jan. 17 in northwestern Jazeera, outside Ramadi. The caches contained improvised explosive devices and rocket propelled grenades.

In other news, troops from 2nd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, found an IED while patrolling the Adhamiyah district of eastern Baghdad yesterday. The homemade bomb was destroyed at the site.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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