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82nd Paratroopers Nab Suspected Terrorists In Fallujah Raid

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2003 – American paratroopers with the Army's 82nd Airborne Division recently captured several suspected terrorists during a raid in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, according to a U.S. Central Command news release.

The raid, according to CENTCOM, was successfully pulled off thanks to tips from local Iraqis.

The operation was conducted by soldiers from the 82nd's 3rd Brigade, according to CENTCOM, and resulted in the capture of Ali Jassam Mejbil and Mahamed Jassam Abad. Both men, CENTCOM said, are suspected of financing and conducting improvised explosive device attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq, as well as weapons trafficking. Four other suspected terrorists also were nabbed in the raid, CENTCOM noted.

And, CENTCOM reported, another group of 82nd paratroopers encountered an IED east of Fallujah when escorting the local liaison team to the city mayor's office. The explosion injured one U.S. soldier and damaged a humvee. The injured soldier was taken to the 21st Combat Support Hospital for medical treatment.

In other Iraq news, CENTCOM reported that U.S. 82nd Airborne Division, 3rd Brigade soldiers captured alleged terrorist cell leader Abu Abdullah among more than 40 individuals seized during a series of raids across the city of Lutafiyah.

Some individuals seized in that raid are believed to have participated in the Nov. 29 terror attack on Spanish forces in Iraq, CENTCOM noted.

Abdullah, according to CENTCOM, is an intelligence officer, financier, and doctor suspected of supporting anti- coalition activities in the region.

And, CENTCOM reported, more than 200 Iraqis in the city of Ramadi demonstrated Dec. 10 against pro-Saddam Hussein diehards and other terrorists in Iraq. Participants chanted slogans and denounced terrorist attacks in the country, according to CENTCOM, and urged Iraqis to take action against anti-coalition forces.

The protest, according to CENTCOM, demonstrates the Iraqi people's desire to get rid of anti-coalition terrorists and achieve a safe and secure environment in their country.

In other Iraq news, CENTCOM reported that U.S. forces found one 1st Armored Division soldier who evidently drowned in the Tigris River near Baghdad during a patrol. Another soldier, who dived into the river to rescue the first soldier, is still missing.

The soldiers' names are being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The incident is under investigation.

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