Coalition Forces Kill Seven, Nab 21; Car Bomb, Weapons Destroyed
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May. 1, 2007 Coalition forces killed seven suspected terrorists, detained 21 others, and destroyed a car bomb and weapons during operations in Iraq over the past two days.
Intelligence reports led coalition forces this morning to targets linked to senior al Qaeda leaders west of Taji. During an operation there, terrorists engaged ground forces with small-arms fire, military officials said.
Using appropriate self-defense measures, coalition forces engaged the armed men, killing five and detaining six suspects. Coalition forces found weapons and grenades, which they destroyed on site.
In a separate raid west of Taji this morning, coalition forces captured five suspected terrorists.
Elsewhere in Iraq today, coalition forces north of Samarra nabbed seven suspects with alleged ties to senior leaders in al Qaeda and detained two other suspects in Mosul.
“These operations will affect al Qaeda in Iraq's ability to operate effectively against the people of Iraq and provide us with more information to disrupt their activities," said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesperson.
Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, discovered a car bomb today along a highway in northern Mahmudiyah. The Iraqi soldiers contacted U.S. troops from the 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, who cordoned off the area and escorted the explosive ordnance disposal team to the site. The explosive ordnance team executed a controlled detonation of the car bomb. The incident is under investigation.
Near the Iraqi capital yesterday, coalition forces launched an early morning air strike, killing two insurgents as they attempted to set an improvised explosive device on a local street in the Kamiz al-Hajj neighborhood, 20 miles north of Baghdad. No civilians were injured during the air strike. Collateral damage was minimal due to the location and precision of the strike, U.S. officials said.
In Lutifiyah yesterday, soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, detained three suspected terrorists and discovered a weapons and ammunition cache during a routine combat operation.
While searching a house in the neighborhood, soldiers discovered the cache, which contained two hand grenades, two AK-47 assault rifles and four magazines. The suspected terrorists were detained for being in the house with the weapons and are currently being held for further questioning. The items were destroyed during a controlled detonation by an explosive ordnance team.
In Khalis yesterday, a suicide bomber attacked a funeral, killing about 16 local citizens and wounding at least 24 others.
"Al Qaeda will stop at nothing to inflict pain and spread hatred," said Col. David W. Sutherland, senior U.S. Army officer in Diyala province. "This includes resorting to attacking a sacred event in the Islamic culture. This is recognized by the people in this province, and they will not be swayed in their efforts to achieve security.
"More and more, the people are turning to the Iraqi security forces with information as indicated by a 163 percent increase in Tips Hotline calls over the past two months," he said.
The Iraqi army and police responded to the attack to provide medical care, security and recovery assets. Local ambulances transferred the wounded citizens to the Baghdad and Khalis hospitals.
“The first responders’ reaction was quick, organized, and efficient, and the city leaders did not need any coalition force support,” Sutherland said. “This is an indicator of the increased effectiveness of the local security forces working together.”
A car bomb detonated around 10 a.m. yesterday in the Karkh Security District of Baghdad, just outside Forward Operating Base Prosperity. Soldiers from Company B, 4th Battalion, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, quickly responded to the scene with Iraqi security forces and the Iraqi fire department.
Eyewitnesses told coalition and Iraqi security forces that a 15-passenger van drove onto an underpass leading into a traffic circle. The van came to a stop and the driver quickly exited, fleeing the scene as the vehicle detonated.
Five Iraqi civilians were wounded in the explosion. Three civilian vehicles also were damaged, and one coalition checkpoint suffered minor window damage but no injuries to personnel. The blast left a large hole in a paved section of the traffic circle. Iraqi and coalition forces cordoned off the area and secured the blast site.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)