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Two U.S. Soldiers, One Terrorist Killed in Separate Incidents

By Melinda L. Larson
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 7, 2007 – One terrorist was killed and three others detained during an assault by coalition forces in southwest Baghdad today.

The detainees said the dead man was a local car bomb cell leader in charge of approximately 40-50 men, military officials reported. While searching the targeted building coalition forces found several AK-47s.

“Coalition forces continue methodical and deliberate efforts to eliminate vehicle-borne improvised explosive device cells in Iraq,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.

Meanwhile, south of Ramadi, coalition forces captured four suspected terrorists they believe have ties to an al Qaeda in Iraq foreign fighter facilitation network.

Elsewhere in Iraq, a coalition air strike today targeted armed militia men, killing one in Ad Diwaniyah, military officials said.

Operation Black Eagle, coordinated by 8th Iraqi Army and Multinational Division Baghdad and Multinational Division Center South coalition forces, was launched yesterday to defend against illegally armed militia men who allegedly used shoulder-fired rocket propelled grenades.

Iraqi Army personnel, through a tip line, were informed by local residents of the militia men who were operating in the area.

Operation Black Eagle netted 39 enemy fighters who are being detained for questioning.

Iraqi and coalition forces also discovered several weapons and ammunition caches including 27 90mm rockets, six claymore mines, five crates of C-4 explosives, 14 hand grenades, 13 fully-loaded AK-47 ammunition magazines, 900 PKC ammunition gun rounds, two PKC machine gun barrels, one PKC machine gun stock, one mortar system sight, and five ballistic vests.

During the operation, one coalition vehicle was struck by an IED. Ammunition and fuel ignited and destroyed the vehicle. Three coalition soldiers were wounded, receiving cuts and bruises, military officials reported.

Also today, Iraqi police with support from paratroopers from 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, captured two suspects in a mosque in Musayyib.

The search of the mosque was conducted based on intelligence repots of terrorist activities there. When operating in and around holy sites, Iraqi security and coalition forces take precautions to minimize damage to property and disruption of legitimate activities, military officials reported.

On Friday, two Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers were killed in Baghdad during two separate incidents.

The first incident occurred in an eastern section of the Iraqi capital. The soldiers were conducting a combat security patrol when an explosively-formed projectile detonated. In addition to killing one, four soldiers were wounded by the blast, military officials reported.

Meanwhile, on the westside of Baghdad, one Multinational Division Baghdad soldier was killed and three others were wounded when an improvised explosive device detonated while they conducted a security patrol. Military officials said that over the past two weeks, elements of the unit found a car bomb and disarmed it.

Elsewhere, in western Ramadi yesterday, 12 Iraqi civilians were killed and 43 injured after a truck bomb, suspected of containing chlorine, exploded near a police checkpoint, military officials reported.

When the truck approached an Iraqi Police checkpoint in the Ta’meem district at a high rate of speed, police attempted to signal the driver to stop. When the driver did not stop, the officers engaged him with small arms fire. It was unclear whether the police gunfire caused the vehicle to explode or if the driver detonated it, officials reported.

Coalition forces arrived on the scene to assist with the medical evacuation and set up security around the blast site. The injured were evacuated to a local hospital and a coalition medical facility.

The names of the soldiers killed in Baghdad are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

(Compiled from Multinational Force and Multinational Division Iraq news releases.)

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