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'Iron Fist' Comes Down Heavy on Terrorists

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2005 – The second day of Operation Kabda Bil Hadid, or "Iron Fist," resulted in successful engagements against terrorists in and around Sadah, about 12 kilometers east of the Syrian border, Multinational Force Iraq officials reported Oct. 2.

The effort continues with a force of about 1,000 Marines, soldiers and sailors from Regimental Combat Team 2. That force engaged seven terrorists west of Sadah with Marine aircraft at about 11:45 a.m., officials said.

Four terrorists were killed and the others fled into a nearby building. When the terrorists began firing, aviation assets were again called in, and the number of casualties was unknown at the time.

At noon, terrorists forcibly entered a building and began firing on Marines. Unable to suppress the fire, Marines fired one round from an M-1A1 tank into the building, injuring five civilians. Officials said Marines treated and released four. One civilian was evacuated to Baghdad and is reported to be in stable condition.

At about 3 p.m., a suicide car bomber prematurely detonated his vehicle and was killed, officials said.

Shortly thereafter near Karabilah, Marines were also engaged by rocket propelled grenades and small-arms fire from a building. They returned fire, killing eight.

To date, coalition forces have detained four terrorists, with no U.S. Marine casualties reported.

Iron Fist's goal is to root out al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists operating in the region and disrupt terrorist support systems in and around Sadah, officials said.

It is part of larger operation called Sayaid, or "Hunter." its goal is to keep al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq from operating freely in the Euphrates River Valley. It is also meant to prevent terrorists from influencing the local population through murder and intimidation, officials said.

(Compiled from a Multinational Force Iraq news release.)

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