Troops Kill Suspected Terrorists, Capture Others, Seize Weapons
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Apr. 1, 2008 Coalition and Iraqi forces killed four suspected terrorists, detained 29 others, and seized or destroyed dozens of weapons in Iraq over the past three days, military officials said.
During an operation today in Mosul, coalition ground forces captured an alleged close associate of local senior al Qaeda in Iraq leaders. In another mission nearby, information gleaned from an operation in December led troops to a wanted individual, whom forces detained along with four other suspects.
In two other operations this morning around Baghdad, coalition forces captured an alleged car-bomb-cell leader, the alleged leader of al Qaeda in Iraq in Baghdad’s South Karkh neighborhood and two other suspects, military officials said.
“The Iraqi people are turning against al Qaeda and are supporting the fight against terrorism,” said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. “Iraqi and coalition forces continue to target the al Qaeda in Iraq networks that are responsible for indiscriminate violence against innocent civilians.”
In the New Baghdad neighborhood of the Iraqi capital yesterday, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers engaged a criminal rocket-propelled grenade team in an afternoon operation. Military officials reported that the soldiers, from 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, engaged the criminals with small-arms fire, killing one. Troops detained three others and seized seven assault rifles.
During operations elsewhere in Iraq yesterday:
-- The 15th Iraqi Army Brigade detained 12 enemy personnel during an operation in Hafriyah, southeast of Kirkuk. In addition, the troops discovered a cache containing hundreds of mortar rounds of varying size, rockets, seven propane tanks, six blocks of C-4 explosive material, 25 250-pound bombs, five 130 mm projectiles, and numerous small arms and bomb-making materials.
-- Troops detained three individuals in Musayyib who are believed to be connected to a March 23 homemade-bomb attack on coalition forces in the Abu Jassim area. Coalition troops are holding the suspects for questioning.
-- Coalition forces targeted a suspected terrorist allegedly involved in the al Qaeda in Iraq propaganda and smuggling networks. The wanted man turned himself over to ground forces upon their arrival, military officials said.
-- An Iraqi citizen tipped off Multinational Division North soldiers to the location of a weapons cache in Tamim province, northeast of Kirkuk. Troops safely destroyed the cache, which contained more than 100 mortar rounds.
In earlier operations, Multinational Division North soldiers killed three enemy personnel March 30 after locating a weapons cache and an al Qaeda in Iraq bunker in Bojima, near Baqouba.
During a joint weapons-clearing operation with Iraqi soldiers, the combined force began receiving small-arms fire. A coalition air weapons team spotted the armed personnel fleeing from the contact location and engaged the enemies, killing three and wounding one other.
Soldiers from the Iraqi army's 5th Division and Multinational Division North soldiers of the 2nd Infantry Division’s 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team from Fort Lewis, Wash., destroyed a heavy fortified bunker, two 82 mm mortar base plates, a 60 mm mortar base plate, and a 60 mm mortar tripod. They also destroyed two propane tanks and a fire extinguisher that was suspected of containing homemade explosives.
“Destroying the bunker will further degrade al Qaeda in Iraq's ability to conduct offensive and supply operations,” said Army 1st Lt. Colin Lebeau, a 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, assistant intelligence officer.
In the Abu Harab village of Diyala province March 30, the local “Sons of Iraq” citizen security group prevented the kidnapping of two women and four children. The Sons of Iraq fought off four vehicles carrying al Qaeda in Iraq members who had kidnapped the six people. The local resistance force recovered all the would-be kidnapping victims.
“The quick reaction of these local heroes, the village's Sons of Iraq, is yet another example of the strength and determination of Iraqis to fight for the peace they deserve,” said Army Maj. Dan Meyers, a Multinational Division North spokesman.
During operations March 30, combined forces seized:
-- A cache in Qarghouli village, near Patrol Base Yusifyah, containing Katusha rockets, improvised explosive devices, mortar and artillery rounds of various sizes, 40 pounds of unknown bulk explosives, anti-aircraft rounds, gas tanks, and several hundred small-arms rounds and accessories.
-- Stockpiles of weapons in Hashmiyah that included 23 anti-tank mines, some 40 pounds of explosives, three crates of pellet-shaped explosives, more than a dozen mortars of varying size, ammunition, fuses and projectile housings, and bomb-making materials.
-- A cache containing propellant charges, mortar rounds, rifle grenades, flares and bags of TNT in Abu Osage, northwest of Lutifiyah.
(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq and Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)