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Iraqi Forces Capture Gang Members, Free Hostage, Detain Police Colonel

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2006 –

In separate operations over the last three days, Iraqi forces captured gang members suspected of involvement in kidnappings, freed an Iraqi man being held by terrorists, and detained a police colonel believed to be involved with terrorism, U.S. military officials in Iraq reported.


Iraqi policemen from 7th Brigade, 2nd National Police Division, captured two gang members suspected of involvement in several kidnappings in the Bayaa district of southwestern Baghdad at about 8:50 a.m. today. Information from unidentified sources pointed to the gang members’ location, assisting in the success of the mission.


Elsewhere, an Iraqi man being held hostage by terrorists was freed during an early morning raid yesterday by Iraqi and U.S. soldiers near the city of Muqdadiyah.


The man was found bound and blindfolded in a mud hut in the middle of a palm grove north of the city. He was transported to a nearby Iraqi base and reunited with his family. The former hostage said his captors had planned to “judge” him today.


Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division, and Task Force Band of Brothers soldiers from the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, conducted the mission. The raid was aimed at disrupting insurgent activity in the area. In addition to freeing the hostage, the raid resulted in the detention of 16 suspects and the discovery of a cache of bomb-making materials and terrorist propaganda.


In another operation, Iraqi security forces detained an Iraqi police colonel in Kut province July 29. This individual is alleged to be involved in numerous illegal and insurgent activities, officials said. He was detained without incident.


(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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