Coalition Forces Kill Terrorist Leader, Detain 23 Suspects
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 7, 2008 Coalition forces killed a wanted terrorist and detained 23 suspects in two days of operations targeting terrorist cells around Iraq.
Coalition forces targeted the wanted terrorist during an operation west of Balad, about 50 miles north of Baghdad. The man refused to comply with an interpreter's instructions and, perceiving hostile intent, coalition forces engaged and killed him. The terrorist was a leader in the al-Qaida in Iraq network in Salahuddin province, coalition officials said.
Another wanted man, believed to be part of the same network, was detained with an additional suspect in a separate operation in Beiji, about 100 miles south of Mosul.
Coalition troops captured two wanted men during operations in Mosul. One suspect, believed to be an al-Qaida leader responsible for coordinating attacks against coalition forces, was injured when the door to the target building was breached, officials said. The suspect was treated on site and taken to a military medical facility. The other wanted man was detained for allegedly conducting bombing attacks against coalition forces.
Farther south, coalition forces captured a wanted man in Tikrit and three additional suspects believed to be tied to al-Qaida in Iraq leaders in Diyala province. In an area 95 miles southwest of Mosul, coalition forces detained six people suspected of working with multiple al-Qaida networks.
"We are taking al-Qaida in Iraq networks, their leaders and operatives out of circulation so the Iraqi people can continue to make progress toward a secure future," Army Lt. Col. Maura Gillen, a Multinational Force Iraq spokeswoman, said. "Terrorists who conduct vicious attacks against innocent civilians have no place in the future Iraqis have chosen for their country."
The capture of the 14 suspects came a day after insurgents in northeastern Baghdad fired three 122 mm rockets into central Baghdad, injuring seven Iraqi civilians and two Iraqi policemen in a mid-day attack that damaged a police station and community park.
The insurgent attack came about 12 hours after coalition troops detained nine suspects after noticing suspicious behavior while conducting a late-night operation in southern Baghdad. Among those detained by Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, troops is “a known criminal responsible for indirect fire attacks in Baghdad,” coalition officials said.
(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq and Multinational Force Iraq news releases).