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Iraqi Forces Capture Insurgents; Iraqi Children Wounded by Rocket Attack

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2006 – Iraqi forces captured eight suspected insurgents and provided security in a northern Iraqi town, coalition forces foiled a mortar attack, and two Iraqi children were wounded by a rocket-propelled-grenade attack yesterday and Dec. 2 throughout Iraq, military officials reported.

Special Iraqi army forces with coalition advisors captured a suspected insurgent and detained seven additional suspects during a raid yesterday near Taji. The insurgent is believed to be part of a cell that provides safe houses and staging areas for attacks and other operations in Baghdad to al Qaeda in Iraq, officials said. Several assault rifles also were confiscated during the operation.

Elsewhere, two Iraqi children were injured by an insurgent rocket-propelled-grenade attack against coalition forces yesterday in Haditha. The two children suffered minor shrapnel wounds from the attack and were treated and released on site by a local physician. Coalition forces detained two individuals believed to be involved in the attack.

In another operation, Regimental Combat Team 5 Marines patrolling on foot yesterday in Hasa were attacked with small-arms fire by insurgents positioned in a residential structure.

The Marines attempted to maneuver on the building but were unable to enter due to the high volume of insurgent fire. The Marines then fired a shoulder fired, anti-tank rocket at the building, and when the fire continued from the insurgents, the Marines employed precision-guided ordnance to destroy the building.

Separately, attack helicopters from Multinational Division Baghdad engaged an insurgent mortar team preparing to fire rounds northwest of the Iraqi capital Dec. 2. At about 4:55 p.m., the helicopters positively identified four individuals on a bridge in Kazimiyah preparing to launch a mortar attack.

Upon seeing the helicopters, the four fled in opposite directions in two vehicles. The helicopters chased and engaged one vehicle with precision fire, destroying it. One suspect escaped on foot, but was later found hiding in a nearby house. Coalition ground forces raided this and other homes in the immediate vicinity, detaining two suspected terrorists and four others for questioning.

Elsewhere in Iraq, soldiers from the 1st Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division, and paratroopers from the 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, set up security checkpoints Dec. 2 in Siniyah, several miles south of Bayji, to control movement and safeguard the citizens of the town.

The checkpoints were established after insurgents executed several attacks on Iraqi security forces, coalition forces and Iraqi civilians in Siniyah and the surrounding areas. Iraqi and coalition forces allowed food delivery and provided water and medical care to all citizens of Siniyah, while asking for their patience and cooperation.

“These checkpoints are for the good of the people of Siniyah,” said Army Lt. Col. Scott Harris, commander of 1st Battalion, 505th PIR. “We have made every accommodation for the civilian population, and the law-abiding citizens of Siniyah will be safe from those who wish to undermine efforts to restore peace to this city.”

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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