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Raids in Iraq Yield Terrorists, Terror Leaders, Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 2, 2007 – Nine terrorists, including an al-Qaeda leader, were killed during raids conducted by coalition forces in Baghdad today and yesterday. Also, one terrorist was wounded, and three were detained during the raids.

A known al-Qaeda weapons dealer was among those killed during today’s Baghdad raid, according to officials. Another terrorist was wounded in the action, while two more were detained. The wounded terrorist was provided first aid and transported to a nearby medical facility. Coalition forces had targeted the weapons dealer, whose body was identified by his wife.

In other news, coalition troops killed six terrorists and detained one suspect during a fierce morning firefight in Baghdad yesterday, officials reported.

Intelligence reports indicated the targeted location was used as a possible al Qaeda in Iraq safe house for terrorists to conduct operational planning.

While approaching the targeted area, coalition troops were attacked with heavy automatic weapons fire and hand grenades from the top of several nearby buildings, officials said. Coalition forces returned fire, killing two terrorists. Several armed men fled to a third building.

Coalition forces received fire from the top of the third building and returned fire, officials reported. Coalition forces were able to establish a foothold in one of the adjacent buildings, killing four more terrorists and detaining one.

In other news, 1st Iraqi Army Division forces, with coalition advisors, captured a suspected insurgent during operations in Na'Amiyah, near Fallujah, yesterday. Officials said the detainee is suspected of providing improvised explosive devices to al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists. The suspect is also implicated in kidnapping Iraqi civilians for ransom and having close ties to al Qaeda in Iraq leaders.

Also, soldiers from the 2nd and 4th Iraqi Army Divisions, with coalition advisors, detained two suspects during operations in Ash Sharqat in the northern Salah Ad Din province, officials reported.

One of the detainees is suspected of leading a cell that supported insurgent and al Qaeda in Iraq operations, providing weapons and supplies that helped them carry out attacks against Iraqi civilians and security forces.

Earlier during the past weekend, U.S. soldiers with the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team uncovered a site in eastern Baghdad suspected of being used by insurgents to make improvised explosive devices during a Dec. 31 patrol.

Officials reported that the troops found wires, timers, explosives and other items consistent with making IEDs. Two flash-bang grenades were also recovered. U.S. military personnel confiscated the seized items.

In other weekend events, Special Iraqi Police Forces, with coalition advisors, captured three suspected members of an al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist cell during Dec. 31 operations southwest of Mosul.

Officials said the suspects are responsible for kidnapping and murdering Iraqi civilians and security forces and are believed to be involved in car bombing attacks in and around Mosul. They are reportedly linked to foreign fighters and facilitate their violent, criminal operations in the area.

Also on Dec. 31, a joint Iraqi and coalition operation resulted in the capture of six individual, officials reported.

Soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, and a squad from the 4th Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, conducted a joint search-and-attack operation near Al-Thobat, about four kilometers southwest of Yusufiyah, officials reported.

The operation targeted three separate objectives near the village, where IED cells were suspected of operating and finding safe haven.

Elements of Company C, 4-31 and Troop A, 2nd Squadron, 5th Cavalry Regiment, paired with the Iraqi Army squad to detain the suspects. Two of the men were wanted for their connection to IED operations in the area. The other four individuals were detained for their belligerence when the two wanted men were confronted. Officials said the detainees are being held for further questioning.

In other developments, soldiers of the Iraqi Army's 7th Division detained two suspects during operations Dec. 31 near Karabilah to capture the leaders of an insurgent group.

Officials said the group is responsible for small-arms attacks and IED emplacements and attacks in the Al Qa'im area targeting Iraqi security forces and coalition forces. The group is also suspected of helping foreign fighters move into Iraq and is tied closely to the al Qaeda in Iraq terror network.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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