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Coalition, Iraqi Forces Capture 48 Suspects; Insurgents Kill Civilians

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2007 – Coalition and Iraqi forces captured 48 suspected insurgents and killed eight, and insurgents killed more than 20 civilians in several attacks over the past few days in Iraq, military officials reported.

Coalition forces captured 22 suspected terrorists during operations today targeting al Qaeda and foreign fighter facilitators.

During operations in Mosul, coalition forces captured four suspected terrorists allegedly involved in the planning of improvised-explosive-device attacks on friendly forces.

A senior foreign fighter facilitator was captured north of Habbaniyah, and two suspects who are reportedly involved in weapons facilitation were detained in Baghdad.

Northeast of Tarmiyah, coalition forces captured 13 suspected terrorists with alleged involvement in weapons movement and foreign fighter facilitation.

South of Amiriyah, two suspected terrorists with alleged ties to foreign fighter facilitation and weapons movement were also detained.

"Coalition forces will continue deliberate and methodical operations in order to pursue, capture or kill terrorists trying to prevent a peaceful and stable Iraq," said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.

Elsewhere, at least 20 people were killed and 11 others were wounded when insurgents launched several attacks in the Rusafa security district of the Iraqi capital yesterday.

At about 11 a.m., Iraqi police officers reported that a car bomb detonated, wounding one Iraqi officer. Iraqi police quickly cordoned, secured and cleared the attack area.

In a separate incident, the 9th Iraqi Army Division reported a suicide bomber attack on a bus several blocks from the Mustansiriyah University at 12:20 a.m. Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, responded and secured the scene, reporting seven Iraqi civilians killed and five wounded.

About two hours after the initial attack, a second car bomb detonated near a checkpoint in the Karradah peninsula area in eastern Baghdad. A separate unit from 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, responded and reported 13 Iraqi civilians killed and six wounded.

In all three incidents, Iraqi emergency services responded and aided in transporting the wounded to a nearby hospital.

In another operation, special Iraqi army forces captured nine suspected insurgents during operations with coalition advisors yesterday in Abaychi. The operation targeted an insurgent network believed responsible for providing weapons and tactics training to insurgents, foreign fighters and terrorists in the Tarmiyah area of Salah ad Din province.

The network reportedly trains insurgents and terrorists from Ansar al Sunna, al Qaeda in Iraq and other insurgent groups participating in sectarian attacks against Iraqi civilians, Iraqi security forces and coalition forces, officials said. Iraqi forces targeted the network's leadership, trainers, financiers and weapons suppliers.

During entry into one objective, ground forces came under small-arms fire from the roof of a nearby building. Iraqi forces identified one hostile fighter firing at ground forces and engaged the threat, killing the gunman. Another hostile fighter firing at ground forces was wounded by Iraqi forces. An Iraqi female with a leg wound and the hostile fighter were treated by coalition medics.

During movement to another objective, a supporting coalition forces aircraft observed several individuals moving to gain a tactical advantage over the Iraqi and coalition ground forces. The group established a possible ambush position and disregarded several warnings from ground forces to leave the area. The group remained in position, displaying clear hostile intent against ground forces, despite several warning shots. The group was engaged by a coalition forces aircraft, killing six insurgents.

In another area, soldiers of the 4th Iraqi Army Division captured four suspects during operations with coalition advisors yesterday in Balad, targeting rogue militia elements. The suspects allegedly are involved in carrying out sectarian attacks against Iraqi civilians in the area.

The suspects are implicated in supplying weapons used by rogue elements to commit violence and other criminal activities. Iraqi forces detained five additional suspects forquestioning.

Near Fallujah, Iraqi police forces captured seven suspected insurgents during operations with coalition advisors yesterday in Saqlawiyah.

The suspects allegedly are responsible for conducting kidnappings and murders of Iraqi civilians they believe are working with coalition forces. The suspected insurgents are also implicated in hijacking and robbing Iraqi civilians in order to help finance their violent and criminal activities. Iraqi forces detained one additional suspect for questioning.

Elsewhere, one terrorist was killed and another was seriously wounded near Balad when an IED they were attempting to emplace detonated on them March 10.

The wounded man was taken to Tikrit hospital for treatment.

In a separate incident, a terrorist rocket exploded in a crowded parking garage near Kirkuk General Hospital March 10, killing three local citizens and wounding 39 others.

The early evening attack by insurgents sent at least one rocket into the city, landing within several hundred meters of Kirkuk General Hospital and into a crowd of weekend shoppers.

"We join the citizens of Kirkuk in condemning the actions of these terrorists," said Army Col. Patrick Stackpole, commander, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, based in Kirkuk. "We also extend our sympathy to the families of the citizens killed and injured by this attack and commend the hospital's medical staff for their expertise in managing this traumatic event."

The hospital conducted an emergency recall of its medical staff, and within hours of the incident had treated the majority of the wounded.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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