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Raid Targets Suspect Believed to Know Missing Soldier’s Whereabouts

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2006 – A man believed to have first-hand knowledge of a missing U.S. soldier’s whereabouts was the target of a raid conducted today in Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood by special Iraqi army forces, working with coalition advisors.

The Iraqi troops detained the targeted suspect, who officials believe knows details of the control and movement of Spc. Ahmed Kousay Altaie, who was abducted Oct. 23. Six additional suspected cell members were detained, officials said.

Enemy fighters targeted Iraqi forces with small-arms and rocket-propelled-grenade fire. Supporting coalition aircraft received enemy ground fire; coalition aircraft neutralized the threat with precision fires at identified enemy targets, officials said.

There were no reports of casualties among Iraqi and coalition forces.

Also today, coalition forces killed three terrorists and detained four suspected terrorists during a raid in Baghdad. Upon approaching the objective, ground forces received small arms fire. Coalition forces returned fire, killing three terrorists.

Coalition Forces continued their mission and approached the first targeted building. As they breached the building using a small explosives charge, officials said, some linen inside the room caught fire. The fire was quickly extinguished and no one was injured. During the search of the second targeted building, coalition forces detained four suspected terrorists and found four machine guns, ammunition and ammunition cartridges.

In other news from Iraq, coalition forces conducted an operation against terrorist activities in near Habbaniyah today. Intelligence reports indicated two targeted buildings were being used for terrorist activity. Coalition forces discovered a weapons cache consisting of rocket-propelled grenades, multiple explosives and small arms in the first targeted building.

After breaching the second targeted building and discovering another weapons cache, coalition forces realized the building was a mosque. There were no external markings on the building to indicate it was a mosque, officials said. Both weapons caches were destroyed.

On Nov. 19, soldiers from the 3rd Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division, and Task Force Lightning soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 6-9 Armored Reconnaissance Squadron, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, apprehended four suspected insurgents, recovered two kidnap victims and seized a sizeable weapons cache during an operation north of Muqdadiyah.

Iraqi and coalition forces discovered the individuals, along with a cache, while conducting an intelligence-driven operation on a suspected insurgent safe haven that has been the launching point for attacks on the Iraqi government and civilian population.

The cache consisted of 15 various projectiles, including three 155 mm artillery shells, two anti-tank mines, three grenades, 15 pounds of explosives, other bomb-making materials and enemy propaganda. Task Force Lightning forces also discovered and disarmed seven roadside bombs near the site.

The rescued kidnap victims were taken to the Joint Coordination Center, placed in the mayor’s care and taken to the Muqdadiya Hospital for medical treatment.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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