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Numerous Suspected Terrorists Captured in Iraq; Weapons Cache Found

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2007 – Coalition forces captured a suspected al Qaeda in Iraq military planner and detained 14 other suspected terrorists during multiple operations today, military officials reported.

-- In Mosul, coalition forces detained two suspected terrorists including an alleged al Qaeda military planner who is suspected of attacks in Muhalabiyah.

-- In Baghdad, five suspects were detained with alleged ties to a makeshift bomb procurement and operations cell. Coalition forces northeast of Balad also detained six suspected terrorists who have alleged ties to foreign fighter operations.

-- Two more people with suspected ties to al Qaeda foreign fighters were detained today in Tikrit, officials said.

No civilians or coalition forces were injured during the raids. These types of operations continue to disrupt al Qaeda's ability to operate in Iraq, officials said.

Elsewhere in Iraq, soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, uncovered a weapons cache buried on a farm in western Baghdad yesterday, and Iraqi troops working together with soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment took 15 suspects into custody for questioning.

The weapons cache contained numerous munitions, including blasting caps, artillery rounds, ammunition rounds and makeshift bomb materials, officials said.

Also, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers destroyed a building used by terrorists near a village west of Baghdad on Feb. 9. Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, coordinated the strike in cooperation with other units from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division in Sumalat.

The building, which has been a known insurgent sniper position and an alleged makeshift-bomb manufacturing site, was destroyed to prevent its further use by insurgent forces, officials said.

In addition, soldiers from the 3rd Combined Arms Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, and Iraqi army soldiers cordoned off the Jabouri Peninsula, just outside of Balad on Feb. 9 and began operations to clear the area of insurgents and al Qaeda fighters, officials reported.

"Al Qaeda and other insurgents have used this area as a safe haven. We have targeted the insurgents in this area for the past five months, but they still pose a threat to coalition forces, Iraqi civilians and Iraqi security forces," said Lt. Col. Kevin Dunlop, commander of 3rd Combined Arms Battalion.

This operation will target high value individuals, training areas and terrorist safe havens in an effort to restore and sustain peace in the peninsula and surrounding areas, Dunlop said.

Finally, on Feb. 8, Iraqi army soldiers responded to a tip and conducted a raid to break up a car bomb cell in Ameriyah. The Iraqi army troops detained one terrorist suspect. During initial questioning, the suspect implicated a second suspected car bomb cell member living next door, officials said.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq and Defense Department news releases.)

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