Bomb-Builders Killed in Raid; Troops Detain Suspects, Seize Weapons
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 11, 2007 A terrorist bomb-builder was killed with three accomplices during a coalition raid near Taji, Iraq, today, U.S. officials said, and other operations over the last few days netted more terror suspects and weapons.
One of the individuals killed in the Taji raid was a suspected vehicle-bomb cell leader with alleged ties to al Qaeda in Iraq senior leaders. Two others detained in the raid also have alleged ties to al-Qaeda in Iraq, officials said.
Coalition forces also detained two suspected terrorists today during separate raids targeting a vehicle-bomb network in Mosul. Four other suspected terrorists were detained yesterday in a coalition operation focused on destroying a network that allegedly supplies roadside bomb components to terrorists operating in Baghdad.
West of Baghdad yesterday, soldiers of 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y., working with Iraqi Army soldiers, found a weapons cache during a combat patrol.
The cache contained four rocket-propelled-grenade warheads, three mortar boosters, an RPG accelerator and two flares. An explosive ordnance team destroyed the cache.
Also yesterday, Iraqi security forces detained 20 suspects believed to have ties with al Qaeda during a cordon-and-search operation in a Muqdadiya neighborhood in eastern Iraq. The search also yielded weapons, ammunition and improvised explosive device material.
In other news, Iraqi special operations troops caught three suspects during a May 9 raid in Baghdad. The detainees are believed to be involved in an April vehicle-bomb attack on a bridge.
A man who said he’d been a kidnap victim turned himself in to Iraqi army troops at a traffic control point in western Baghdad May 9, telling the soldiers he had been ordered to drive a car bomb to the checkpoint.
The man approached the control point in a vehicle, then stopped short, got out and ran up to the Iraqi security forces, claiming he had been kidnapped two days earlier. He said he had been ordered to drive his vehicle to the checkpoint. Moments later, the car exploded. There were no injuries from the detonation.
American attack helicopters attacked a terrorist group's anti-aircraft gun near Iskandariyah, Iraq, May 9. AH-64 Apache helicopters from the 4th Squadron, 227th Combat Aviation Battalion, spotted an anti-aircraft gun emplaced and ready to be used. The pilots fired about 40 rounds and destroyed the system before it could be used against coalition aircraft.
Iraqi soldiers in western Baghdad found a large cache of mortar rounds near a joint security station May 9. Once the cache was identified, Iraqi troops from 2nd Battalion, 5th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, secured the area and waited for an Iraqi explosive ordnance team to inspect the site.
The Iraqi army requested help from the 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, located at Joint Security Station Torch. The cache contained 46 57 mm mortar rounds that could be used to build roadside bombs. The rounds were removed from the site for disposal.
American soldiers with the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, thwarted an attack on an Iraqi National Police station near the town of Salman Pak on May 9. The attack began when several gunmen engaged the station with small arms and mortars. AH-64 helicopters engaged and destroyed one enemy vehicle with 30 mm cannon fire after identifying the occupants as hostile. The helicopters fired on three more gunmen as they fled through a palm groove, killing two.
Also on May 9, paratroopers found and destroyed 10 improvised explosive devices in Iraq’s Babil province. In four days, officials said, the paratroopers found and destroyed 39 IEDs. All of the devices were destroyed in place or taken by explosive ordnance disposal teams for further investigation prior to destruction.
On May 8, coalition forces killed several terrorists and destroyed three trucks with mounted anti-aircraft weapons after discovering a pack of terrorists firing on a house northeast of Karmah, Iraq. Intelligence reports led coalition forces to three trucks, two of which carried mounted anti-aircraft artillery weapons.
A fixed-wing aircraft was called in to destroy the vehicles. One truck with an anti-aircraft weapon and two sedans associated with the trucks were destroyed, killing an estimated 10 to 14 terrorists.
The two remaining trucks departed the strike scene in different directions, but coalition forces continued to follow them. Each was destroyed in a separate air strike after the vehicle's occupants abandoned it and fled the scene.
Coalition forces followed an additional vehicle from the scene of the first strike and targeted the building it returned to in an overnight raid. Eight suspected terrorists were detained in the raid, and one was treated for shrapnel wounds he received from the air strike earlier in the evening.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)