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Suspected Terrorists Detained in Iraq, al Qaeda Cell Leader Killed

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2007 – Iraqi and coalition forces detained numerous suspected terrorists and killed an al Qaeda in Iraq cell leader in operations over the last three days, military officials reported.

Three synchronized raids west of Taji today targeted al Qaeda operatives associated with senior terrorist leaders and criminal activity. Coalition forces captured one individual suspected of attacking coalition forces and detained 15 others for their alleged links to hijackings and weapons facilitation.

Also today, during a raid northwest of Balad, coalition forces captured a foreign terrorist suspected of involvement in a suicide car-bomb attack in Samarra and detained three other suspected terrorists for their alleged ties to the foreign terrorist.

"We're continuing to hunt down those who terrorize the people of Iraq," said Army Maj. Marc Young, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "Criminals and foreign terrorists have no place in the future of this country."

In operations yesterday, Iraqi security forces killed a senior member of an al Qaeda cell and detained seven suspected insurgents in a series of early-morning raids at a terrorist training camp.

With coalition forces present as advisors, Iraqi security forces cleared a series of buildings located on an abandoned Iraqi army base in the Hamrah region, northeast of Karmah. Iraqi security forces were engaged by an enemy shooter at one of their objectives. An assault team moved to positively identify and kill the shooter, a senior al Qaeda cell member. Various rifles, pictures and identification cards also were seized during the operation.

The abandoned base reportedly was being used as a training facility and safe house for active insurgents and foreign fighters. Several insurgent groups from Fallujah and other western Iraqi cities are suspected to have used the facility for small-arms training and other activities, U.S. officials said.

In other news, Iraqi soldiers, with U.S. Special Forces as advisors, detained seven suspected al Qaeda terrorists in Bulayj on July 22. One of the alleged operatives is suspected of being a key weapons supplier, arming foreign fighters and other operatives who conduct terrorist attacks for al Qaeda in Iraq. In addition to the captured terrorists, 77 AK-47 assault rifles were confiscated during the operation.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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