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Coalition Forces Kill Three Insurgents, Capture Key Leader, 11 Other Suspects

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2007 – Three insurgents were killed and 16 others, including a key “special groups” leader, were captured in separate operations in Iraq today.

In a separate set of coordinated operations in Baghdad, coalition forces killed one insurgent and captured an Iraqi terrorist with links to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Forces along with 11 other suspected terrorists.

The operations targeted a senior special groups leader directly linked to several other high-ranking terrorists operating in and around Baghdad. Coalition forces detained six individuals at the first target area without incident and followed on with operations at two other sites where they captured the other individuals.

Those in custody are believed to be involved in smuggling and storing weapons from Iran used to attack Iraqi civilians and the coalition forces. The group also is linked to the production and distribution of deadly explosively formed penetrators and the supporting of foreign terrorist operations.

During the operations, the driver of a vehicle that approached the security perimeter of the ground force was assessed to have been killed by coalition fire that destroyed the vehicle.

“The capture of key special groups leaders will allow us to further disrupt the activities of those who attempt to undermine the security and stability of Iraq,” said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.

In addition, Iraqi special operations forces with U.S. Special Forces advisors killed two insurgents during an operation targeting an extremist company commander in Diwaniyah. As Iraqi and U.S. forces arrived at the target location, one insurgent who brandished a weapon and rushed the team was killed. A second assault team observed another insurgent jumping from roof to roof; when the man moved to retrieve a weapon, he was shot and killed.

Meanwhile, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers and Iraqi army troops captured four suspected terrorists in the first day of Operation Dragon Talon II.

The operation kicked off in the southern part of the Iraqi capital in the early-morning hours with targeted raids against terrorist suspects. Troops from the 3rd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 3rd Iraqi Army Division, the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment “Dragoons” and 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team “Dragons,” 1st Infantry Division, worked together to conduct clearing operations and make the arrests.

“We've seen positive results in the early going of Dragon Talon II,” said Army Col. Ricky D. Gibbs, commander of 4th Interim Brigade Combat Team. “We're working closely with the Dragoon soldiers and our (Iraqi security forces) counterparts to prevent the extremist actors from imposing their will in Rashid by getting leaders, organizers and financiers off the streets and into custody.”

The two units will maintain their cooperation as Dragon Talon II continues in the Rashid district.

Also today, Company D, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment responded to an explosion in Washah in which two Iraqi citizens were killed and four others wounded. The investigation was handed over to local Iraqi police.

In operations during the weekend:

-- U.S. soldiers operating in East Rashid were attacked by terrorists while on an evening patrol yesterday. In the ensuing fight, one insurgent was killed by small-arms fire.

-- Troops from 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment “Warriors” yesterday captured a cache consisting of five pounds of C-4, several large bags homemade explosives and blasting caps while conducting operations in the Doura region. Three individuals were detained for questioning during the operation.

-- An Iraqi army patrol's vigilance thwarted a suicide bomber in Mosul yesterday, causing him to prematurely detonate his suicide vest. The soldiers from 2nd Brigade, 2nd Iraqi Army Division, noticed the individual suspiciously approaching their position. They began shouting at the suspect and fired warning shots. The suicide bomber immediately detonated his vest. There were no injuries to civilians or Iraqi forces.

-- Iraqi national police officer recovered a weapons cache in the Rusafa district of eastern Baghdad on Sept. 15. The officers found a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and nine 120 mm mortars. The weapons were turned over to the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team's Special Troops Battalion for their explosive ordnance detachment soldiers to destroy.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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