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Forces Kill, Capture Terrorists During Operations in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2007 – Over the past three days in Iraq, U.S. and Iraqi forces killed terrorists, captured suspects, confiscated weapons and responded to bombings.

In Mosul, Coalition Forces killed two terrorists and captured a suspected senior al-Qaida leader during a raid today. While approaching the first targeted building, Coalition Forces began receiving enemy fire from an adjacent building. Coalition Forces fired back, killing one terrorist.

Upon entering the adjacent building, ground forces were confronted by an armed terrorist who began maneuvering on the ground forces. Ground forces took proper self-defense measures and killed the armed terrorist. During the raid, Coalition Forces detained six suspected terrorists, including the targeted individual who is believed to be a senior al-Qaeda in Iraq leader operating a terrorist cell in Mosul.

In other operations throughout Iraq, coalition forces detained 12 suspected terrorists during raids Saturday morning targeting foreign fighter facilitators and the al-Qaeda in Iraq network.

In Fallujah, Coalition Forces detained three suspected terrorists with alleged ties to a foreign fighter facilitation cell. Intelligence reports indicated the suspected terrorists were associated with senior-level foreign fighter facilitators in the local area.

In Mosul, Coalition Forces captured the suspected leader of an al-Qaeda in Iraq cell. The al-Qaeda cell in Mosul reportedly facilitates financial transactions in Iraq and neighboring countries. Four others were detained during the raid.

Another raid in Mosul netted a suspected terrorist with financial ties to al-Qaeda in Iraq. During the raid Coalition Forces discovered a large amount of Egyptian and Syrian money and false passports and identification cards.

North of Amiriyah, three suspected terrorists were detained including the alleged leader of a local vehicle-borne improvised explosive device cell.

"Successful Coalition operations continue to disrupt al-Qaida in Iraq operations, restrict the flow of foreign fighters and reduce the terrorist organization's ability to finance terrorist operations," said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesperson.

Meanwhile, Iraqi civilian and coalition medical personnel responded to a suicide car bomb attack yesterday in Habbaniyah 65 km west of Baghdad.

There are no reports of U.S. casualties, though there were civilian dead and wounded. Coalition forces arrived shortly after the blast to provide security and began helping local citizens transport the injured to nearby medical facilities. The most life threatening injuries were evacuated to Coalition Force medical facilities.

In a separate operation yesterday, Special Iraqi Army forces detained five suspected rogue Jaysh Al-Mahdi militiamen during operations with Coalition in Husayniyah, east of Taji.

The suspects are believed to be part of a rogue JAM network responsible for kidnapping, murders and improvised explosive device attacks against Iraqi civilians and Iraqi Security Forces.

The suspects are implicated in several IED attacks against Coalition Forces in northern Baghdad and Taji.

In another operation near the village of Tall Abtah, outside of Tall Afar, members of the Iraqi Ninewa Special Weapons and Tactics Team yesterday detained a suspected member of a foreign fighter smuggling network during air assault operations with Coalition advisors.

The suspect is believed to be part of a network facilitating the movement of foreign fighters, arms and money into Iraq that support insurgent attacks targeting Iraqi civilians and Iraqi Security Forces.

Meanwhile, Iraqi national police killed at least two terrorists during a coordinated attack on a national police checkpoint along an Iraqi highway two miles south of the Baghdad International Airport at noon yesterday. Eight national policemen were killed in the defense of the checkpoint.

Witnesses described the attack as two vehicles driving from the east towards the checkpoint at a high rate of speed. Eight to ten gunmen exited the lead vehicle, firing assault rifles and throwing hand grenades at the policemen. A firefight ensued, and the second vehicle was forced into a ditch, where it was cordoned off as a possible vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.

Elements of a military transition team of the 10th Mountain Division’s 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, responded to the sound of the attack, attempting to intervene. Upon receiving gunfire from the attackers, the Soldiers called in aviation support.

After securing the area, 1-89 rendered medical aid to the two wounded national policemen and evacuated them to a nearby combat support hospital. The MiTT members identified two dead attackers. An explosive ordnance disposal team was alerted to render the possible VBIED harmless.

Also yesterday, troops found a weapons cache near the village of Koresh during a security operation. Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division’s 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, found a weapons stockpile consisting of two rocket-propelled grenade warheads, a star-cluster flare, 600 rounds of linked 7.62mm ammunition, an assault rifle, two machine guns, a machine-gun barrel and two bipods for rifles.

The Soldiers detained the owner of the property where the cache was discovered for questioning. An explosive ordnance disposal team was called in and conducted a controlled detonation to destroy the weapons and munitions.

In a separate incident in Ramadi on Feb. 23, Iraqi Police encountered an improvised explosive device with detonation wires leading into a mosque compound and while cordoning off the area around the roadside bomb, discovered a school nearby being used as a terrorist training facility in Ramadi early Feb. 23.

U.S. Soldiers and Iraqi Police were on a route clearing mission in southern Ramadi when an IED was spotted. Coalition forces established a security perimeter while Iraqi police entered the mosque compound.

Despite the fact that Friday is the traditional day of worship in Islam, Iraqi Police officers found the mosque and the surrounding compound deserted. The IED was disabled and nothing else was discovered in the compound.

Meanwhile, a local Iraqi citizen approached Coalition Forces establishing the outer security cordon around the compound and informed them the school across the street was being used as a terrorist training facility.

A search of the abandoned school revealed an indoor rifle range and signs of recent use. Spent rounds, silhouette targets and a coalition force Kevlar helmet with multiple rounds through it were discovered in the abandoned school. Classrooms in the school appear to have also been used for planning and training others to carry out attacks on Iraqi Security and Coalition Forces.

(Complled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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