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Coalition, Iraqi Troops Keep Pressure on Terrorists

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 27, 2008 – Coalition and Iraqi forces continue to push terrorists and criminals in operations throughout Iraq.

Coalition forces captured two suspected "Special Groups" leaders in Baghdad today. Special groups criminals are members of violent organizations, possibly trained and supported by Iran. These key leaders were taken in the Rusafa district of Baghdad.

Coalition and Iraqi forces also conducted operations over the weekend discovering a number of arms caches, capturing al-Qaida terrorists, discovering roadside bombs and attacking terror and criminal networks.

In Rusafa, coalition forces used intelligence information, to locate and capture an Iranian-trained senior leader of Special Groups criminals. The agent of Iran is responsible for attacks against Iraqi security and coalition forces as well as kidnappings and smuggling of weapons from Iran to Iraq. He was captured without incident.

Coalition forces also captured another Special Groups criminal in a separate Rusafa district operation. He is a senior leader responsible for supplying weapons, money and logistical support to subordinate Special Groups commanders. He also provides fighters as reinforcements to areas in need – making his role crucial for sustained operations by Special Groups in the area. He, also, was captured without incident.

The Special Groups took another hit when Iraqi special operations forces detained two other criminals in Baghdad, July 24 and 25.

One of those detained was associated with improvised rocket-assisted mortar attacks. The other man is reportedly responsible for weapons trafficking from Iran into Diyala.

Coalition and Iraqi forces also hit al-Qaida in Iraq July 26, detaining five wanted men and 15 additional suspected terrorists in central and northern Iraq.

In a precision operation in Baghdad, coalition forces captured a wanted man who is reportedly part of a group that builds trigger components for bombs used in al-Qaida attacks. Another Baghdadi allegedly tied to terrorist bombing and propaganda operations was captured, along with four additional suspects.

South of Baghdad, coalition forces detained a dozen suspects, including a wanted man, during continued operations. The wanted man is believed to be an al-Qaida leader responsible for providing security for terrorist operations.

Coalition forces also continued to target terror leaders in Mosul, capturing a wanted man believed to work directly for al-Qaida leaders in the city. He also reportedly has knowledge of terrorist hideouts across northern Iraq.

Southwest of Tikrit, coalition forces captured a man who allegedly helps move foreign terrorists through the Tigris River Valley. The man is also suspected of conspiring with a bombing network that operates in Bayji.

A concerned citizen reported a roadside bomb Iraqi Police in the Karadah district of eastern Baghdad July 25, providing an example of average Iraqis feeling safer.

Acting on another citizen tip, National Police and Multinational Division–Baghdad soldiers seized a weapons cache in the New Baghdad security district of eastern Baghdad July 25.

They uncovered a cache during a combined search operation in the Kamaliyah area. The cache consisted of 2,000 AK-47 ammunition rounds; 1,000 machine gun rounds; one rocket nose cone and one mortar round of undetermined size.

Iraqi police also discovered three improvised explosive devices during combat patrols in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad July 25.

Also in Baghdad Iraqi and U.S. soldiers discovered weapons caches as they continued operations to increase security July 25.

Iraqi National Police and Multinational Division–Baghdad soldiers seized a massive weapons cache in the Kadhamiyah district of Baghdad July 24.

The cache consisted of 71 blocks of Iranian C-4 explosives; 16 60mm high-explosive Iranian mortars; 11 explosively formed projectiles; an improvised claymore mine; 42 mortar rounds; 31 85mm rockets; eight grenades; two 73mm rockets; 11 40mm high explosive projectiles; four 75mm fragmentary rockets; four rocket propelled grenade launchers; 22 rocket propellant charges; approximately 40 pounds of explosives; approximately 5,000 feet of command wire; mortars; and other items.

In other operations on July 24 and 25, coalition forces disrupted suspected al-Qaeda terrorist leadership and bombing networks during operations in central and northern Iraq Thursday and Friday, detaining 21 suspected terrorists.

Two wanted men in Mosul are in Coalition custody after operations July 25. Coalition forces captured an alleged leader who reportedly coordinates suicide bombing attacks and foreign terrorist movement in northern Iraq. He was captured with one additional suspect. A separate precision operation netted a man wanted for his suspected ties to senior leaders of the al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorist organization.

About 90 kilometers south, in Sharqat, coalition forces conducted a precision operation July 25, capturing a suspected leader in the area's al-Qaeda network. The man allegedly spies on Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces to facilitate his cell's attacks against them.

A series of raids July 24 and 25 targeted an AQI leader with suspected longstanding ties to bombings and attacks south of Baghdad. Coalition forces detained 17 suspects in the operations.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq releases.)

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