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Suspected Bombers Captured; Insurgent Attack Kills 3 Iraqi Children

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2007 – Coalition forces nabbed two suspected al Qaeda-affiliated bombers during a morning raid in west Taji, Iraq, today, military officials reported, while three Iraqi children were killed and a dozen other residents were wounded today as the result of a insurgent mortar attack on a village north of Baghdad.

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Coalition forces escort Iraqi women and children to safety after a morning raid on a suspected terrorist “safe house” in west Taji, Iraq, today. Coalition forces detained two suspected al Qaeda-affiliated bombers and also found weapons and materials used to make roadside bombs. The “safe house” was blow up to prevent it from being used by terrorists. U.S. Army photo
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The two detainees taken in Taji are linked to an al Qaeda improvised explosive device network. One captive, in particular, was identified by recent intelligence reports, officials said.

Coalition troops entered the targeted building and detained the two suspects without incident. Several weapons and materials commonly used to make IEDs were found.

The building was blown up to prevent it from being used as a terrorist “safe house.” Before placing the charges, coalition forces escorted two women and nine children outside the house and to a neighbor's home to ensure their safety.

During the incident in which the Iraqi children were killed, insurgents had fired three 120 mm mortar rounds into the village of Mzerat, Iraq. Twelve other village residents were wounded in the attack.

American soldiers responded to provide medical aid to the injured villagers and also secured the area.

In other news, Iraqi soldiers detained a suspected agent for foreign fighters in Iraq during a raid in the al Qaim region near the Syrian border yesterday. The suspect is accused of gathering information on Iraqi and coalition military operations and providing it to foreign fighters.

Also, Iraqi and U.S. forces teamed up to clear some northeast Baghdad neighborhoods of insurgent activity during a series of raids conducted yesterday.

Iraqi troops from the 1st Brigade, 9th Iraqi Army Division, and three battalions of U.S. soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division participated in the raids, which netted 20 suspects, some sidearms and anti-Iraqi propaganda. The detainees are in coalition custody for further questioning.

"Today's clearing operations were precision strikes aimed at known or suspected terrorist hideouts and weapons cache sites," Col. Steve Townsend, commander of 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, said.

Additionally, coalition forces used guided munitions to terminate an insurgent attack that occurred near Khalidiyah Feb. 5.

After having a vehicle hit by an insurgent-launched rocket-propelled grenade and taking small-arms fire from a nearby building, coalition forces used guided munitions against the attackers. The weapon struck the building, destroying it.

Insurgents inside another, adjacent, building continued to fire on the coalition troops. Guided munitions were employed again to destroy the second building, ending the attack.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq press releases.)

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