Four Suspected Terrorists Killed, 23 Detained in Iraq
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 6, 2007 Coalition forces killed four terrorists, detained 23 others, and discovered multiple weapons caches during recent operations targeting al Qaeda in Iraq.
Based on information from a suspected terrorist detained in earlier operations, coalition forces today detained two suspected terrorists associated with an al Qaeda in Iraq leader believed to have close ties to terrorist leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri in Anbar province, military officials said.
Coalition forces also detained three suspected terrorists believed to be involved with numerous kidnappings and murders in a coordinated raid.
In Mosul, coalition forces detained one suspected terrorist today during operations targeting an al Qaeda in Iraq cell responsible for recent bombings in Irbil and Kirkuk. During the course of the early morning operations, two vehicles drove at coalition ground forces. The coalition forces attempted to stop the vehicles, then engaged the vehicles, killing one terrorist.
"We continue to chisel away at the al Qaeda in Iraq network, deliberately and methodically dismantling their ability to harm the people of Iraq," said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.
In operations yesterday, coalition forces raided a Baghdad residence known to be a safe house. As forces secured the targeted building, numerous suspected terrorists attempted to flee and were detained by ground forces. One terrorist made continuous hostile attempts to evade the ground forces and refused to listen to instructions given by the interpreter with soldiers. Coalition forces responding in self-defense engaged the terrorist, killing him. Three suspected terrorists also were detained during the raid.
Yesterday in Baghdad, Iraqi security forces prevented a female extremist from injuring and killing others when she detonated a concealed explosive device near the main entrance of the Iraqi National Police Academy in the Adhamiyah district.
The woman approached the main gate at the academy and was ordered to stop by security forces after an Iraqi soldier saw her adjusting a vest underneath her clothing. The attacker continued to approach the gate, and after another verbal warning followed by a warning shot, she started running toward a crowd of national police recruits.
Iraqi army troops opened fire on the woman, and she detonated the explosive device, killing herself. No Iraqi security forces or police recruits were injured in the attack. The failed suicide attack occurred one day after a recruiting drive, in which hundreds of Iraqi citizens volunteered for service at the training academy.
In earlier operations, coalition aircraft conducted precision air strikes against anti-aircraft weapons northwest of Iskandariyah on June 4, officials said.
An AH-64 Apache attack helicopter from the 4th Squadron, 227th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, was providing aerial security for ongoing operations when paratroopers spotted an anti-aircraft artillery piece not far from a house they were raiding. The helicopter destroyed the artillery piece with two missiles to prevent it from being used against Iraqi or coalition forces in the area. In the last three days, the paratroopers and helicopter squadron have destroyed seven anti-aircraft weapons.
During an operation June 2 to 4 targeting al Qaeda in Iraq activities in Balad, coalition forces detained 11 suspected terrorists for their involvement with al Qaeda, uncovered seven weapons caches and found a fully assembled car bomb.
As coalition helicopters were dropping off the assault force to begin the operation, the helicopters began receiving small-arms fire, military officials reported. The assault force on the ground also began receiving small-arms fire, and coalition forces called in an air strike to engage the enemy. Two terrorists armed with AK-47s and grenades were killed.
Local Iraqis led coalition forces to seven separate weapons caches in the area. One of the caches was concealed in a small, man-made cave and contained a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher and rounds, a light machine gun, anti-personnel rounds, various ammunition, four bayonets, military-style assault vests, and black masks. Another cache buried in a barrel contained small arms, a gas mask and chemical agent, a first aid kit, five assault vests, and 1,000 rounds of ammunition.
Five of the caches contained military-style uniform components, including Iraqi army uniforms, U.S. military-issue boots, camouflage clothing and black masks, as well as anti-aircraft artillery rounds, small arms and electronics.
"The people are choosing to reject al Qaeda's vision for Iraq," Garver said. "Our continuing operations to eliminate the weapons of the terrorists disrupt their ability to attack innocent Iraqis."
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)