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43 Insurgents Detained, Weapons Found, Captives Freed

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, 2007 – In a string of operations across Iraq over the past four days, Iraqi and coalition forces detained 43 suspected terrorists, found several weapons caches, stopped an illegal checkpoint, and freed three captives, military officials reported.

-- In Karmah, Iraq, coalition forces detained 12 suspected terrorists today. Intelligence reports indicate the detainees have key logistical ties to the al Qaeda in Iraq network and to improvised explosive device production. Reports indicate that they are responsible for the recent increase in IED attacks in the Karmah area. During the raid, coalition forces found several AK-47s and ammunition.

-- In Mosul, coalition forces captured a foreign fighter facilitator with ties to a senior al Qaeda leader responsible for bringing large numbers of suicide bombers into Iraq.

-- Special Iraqi police forces captured five members of an illegally armed militia and detained seven others during operations with coalition advisors yesterday near Kawam, south of Baghdad. The suspects are allegedly responsible for coordinating and carrying out numerous IED and other attacks against Iraqi police, Iraqi security forces and coalition forces in the Babil province.

-- A tip from a local citizen to an Iraqi army unit enabled soldiers to stop an illegal checkpoint in the western Baghdad neighborhood of Ghazaliyah yesterday. Shortly after noon, an unidentified Iraqi phoned Company C, 4th Battalion, 1st Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, stating that a number of men had set up an illegal checkpoint in a southern Ghazaliyah neighborhood. A patrol was dispatched to the area and upon arrival was engaged by AK-47 and pistol fire. The patrol returned fire but was unable to prevent the escape of the terrorists.

-- Coalition and Iraqi army soldiers detained 10 suspects and seized four caches in the Al-Doura district as part of Operation Wolverine Feast yesterday. The operation began as witnesses reported seeing several men load a mortar tube and ammunition into the trunk of a car. Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division's Company C, 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, and 3rd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, were alerted and cordoned off the target area. In the first objective they captured one wanted man with an 82 mm mortar system, two AK-47 assault rifles, a 9 mm pistol and two hand grenades. A sweep of a second targeted area uncovered six men with 10 120 mm mortar rounds. The third cache contained a 60 mm mortar system and various rocket-propelled grenade launchers and RPG rounds. Three men were detained at this location. The last cache contained several RPG rockets and accelerators.

-- Coalition forces detained three suspected terrorists and found weapons during a combat operation in Mahmudiyah Jan. 23. Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division's 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, worked with troops from the 2nd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, during Operation Black Eagle II, aimed at denying insurgents sanctuary within the Mahmudiyah area. Two AK-47 bandoleers and two Katusha rocket casings were found during the operation.

-- Four suspected insurgents were detained after a raid on a suspected insurgent safe house south of Baghdad Jan. 23. Iraqi army troops and paratroopers from the 25th Infantry Division's 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, conducted the raid on the suspected terrorist safe house, which was believed to be used to hide insurgents and store weapons.

-- Coalition forces and Iraq army troops detained eight suspected terrorists and seized weapons during a combat patrol northwest of Lutifiyah Jan. 23. Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division's 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, and the 6th Iraqi Army Division's 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade, were on a combat patrol when they came under small-arms fire attack from a canal. The troops called in for aviation support, and one insurgent died in the aerial attack. The remaining four insurgents tried to escape down a canal and were killed by Iraqi troops. Following the firefight, troops searched the area for more insurgents. They found nine Iraqis hiding in a nearby house. Eight of the nine were detained, all wanted for suspected terrorist acts. The search also turned up a weapons cache consisting of three medium machine guns, two AK-47 assault rifles, a shotgun and a sniper rifle with a scope.

-- Coalition forces discovered a building with blood-stained walls southeast of Fallujah on Jan. 22 and rescued three Iraqis found shackled inside. One of the victims was badly beaten and had broken limbs. He was examined and quickly evacuated by coalition forces to receive life-saving medical care. During their patrol, soldiers of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment, discovered multiple weapons caches in other nearby houses. The discovery included a mortar targeting system and a sniper rifle with scope, as well as a Bongo truck with a mounted anti-aircraft gun and another vehicle rigged as a car bomb. Once the hostages were rescued from the house, the suspected "torture house" was destroyed by coalition forces.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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