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Seven Terrorists Killed, One Captured in Separate Incidents

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2006 – Coalition forces killed seven terrorists and wounded three during a raid in the vicinity of Baqubah, Iraq, today. One terrorist was captured during a cordon-and-search operation in Kirkuk yesterday.

Upon arriving at the scene of today's raid, coalition forces took enemy machine-gun fire from a rooftop. Two individuals with AK-47 assault rifles had been seen fleeing that area just prior to the assault.

Coalition aircraft supporting the ground force immediately suppressed the enemy fire, killing seven terrorists and wounding three. All of the wounded terrorists were evacuated to a nearby military medical center, U.S. officials said.

The targeted terrorists have been linked to previous coalition operations and had ties to senior al Qaeda leaders across Iraq. Intelligence also indicates this particular terrorist cell is involved in the facilitation of foreign fighters in the area.

There also were numerous women and children on the scene, and coalition forces safeguarded those who fled the engagement area prior to the onset of hostilities. Following the assault, coalition troops discovered two children had been killed. Another child was wounded and evacuated for treatment.

In a statement, U.S. officials said coalition forces take every precaution to mitigate risks to civilians while in pursuit of terrorists and deeply regret any injury or death.

A vehicle parked near the target building was also damaged by the aircraft gunfire. Coalition forces secured a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher, rockets, AK-47 assault rifles and loaded ammunition magazines.

Yesterday, police from the Iraqi emergency services unit conducted a cordon-and-search operation for a known terrorist in Kirkuk. Soldiers from the 1st Brigade's 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, provided oversight and advice as Iraqi police moved into the terrorist's house, where he was found and detained. A thorough search of the house revealed a briefcase containing a number of passports and identification cards.

The terrorist is the leader of an assassination cell working in and around Kirkuk, military authorities said. He was moved to the U.S. military compound in Kirkuk for further questioning.

This operation demonstrates the ability of Iraqi security forces to conduct independent operations, U.S. officials said. Responsibility for security in most of Kirkuk was returned to Iraqi security forces early in May.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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