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Forces Kill 8 Terrorists, Detain 22 Suspects Today During Operations

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2007 – Coalition forces killed eight terrorists and detained 22 suspected terrorists during operations today targeting al Qaeda members in central Iraq and the Tigris River valley, officials reported.

While targeting an al Qaeda leader in the Yusifiyah area, who was also suspected of helping foreign terrorists to enter into Iraq, coalition forces were engaged by terrorists with small arms fire. Coalition forces employed close air support killing five of the terrorists.

The assault force then followed fleeing suspects into a building, where they detained armed individuals and uncovered fortified fighting positions and a large cache of weapons. One boy was injured during the operation. He was treated on site and accompanied by his father to a military medical facility.

“Terrorists continue to endanger innocent Iraqis and show their disregard for human life each time they surround themselves with civilians during their criminal operations,” said Army Maj. Marc Young, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.

Also today, insurgent mortar fire wounded 10 Iraqi civilians working at a Baghdad oil refinery. U.S. troops from Joint Security Station Raider responded immediately to assist in the evacuation of the wounded. The impact of the four 120 mm rounds did not damage the facility or affect refinery operations.

“Targeting this nation’s infrastructure is a prime example of how far Iraq’s enemies will go to disrupt the peoples’ lives,” said Army Col. Ricky Gibbs, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team commander.

In other operations today in Iraq:

-- Coalition forces south of Tarmiyah, targeted an al Qaeda cell leader and used aircraft to patrol the area. As the operation began, armed terrorists engaged the aircraft with small arms fire. The aircraft, returning fire in self-defense, engaged the terrorists on the ground, killing three and wounding one suspect. The assault force on the ground detained three additional suspected terrorists.

-- South of Baghdad, coalition forces used air assets to contain a suspected enemy force while targeting key players in the city’s car bomb network. As coalition forces raided the target building, several suspected terrorists attempted to evade the assault force. With the help of close air support, the ground force detained seven suspected terrorists.

-- Coalition forces raided a building in Samarra looking for a suspected foreign terrorist facilitator and financier tied to an individual detained during an operation July 14. The ground forces detained two suspects on scene and discovered weapons and a mortar round in the building.

-- Coalition forces detained two suspected terrorists during an operation south of Tikrit targeting an al Qaeda military emir.

In operations yesterday:

-- Two synchronized raids in Tarmiyah targeted senior terrorist leaders from the area. Coalition forces captured a suspected al Qaeda judge and his alleged advisor. Forces also detained three more suspected terrorists from the location.

-- In Samarra, coalition forces raided four buildings in search of an alleged key terrorist leader and close associate of the local al Qaeda emir. The ground forces captured the targeted individual, who is also an alleged bomb-maker and involved in kidnappings, assassinations and extortion operations. Four other suspected terrorists were detained with him.

-- Coalition forces conducted two coordinated raids south of Tarmiyah targeting associates of high-level al Qaeda leaders. The ground forces detained six suspected terrorists for their ties to al Qaeda operations.

-- U.S. soldiers and Iraqi security forces captured three suspected insurgents during Operation Burkan IV in eastern Baghdad. Raids were conducted in the Karada District in the hopes of shutting down and disrupting a cell believed responsible for training snipers and improvised explosive device attacks.

-- With U.S. Special Operations Forces present as advisers, Iraqi police detained two known al Qaeda cell members suspected of numerous crimes, including murdering and intimidating Iraqi citizens and improvised explosive device attacks against coalition forces, during a helicopter assault in a remote area northwest of Taji.

“The capture and detainment of these two individuals will further inhibit al Qaeda activities in Western Iraq and reduce attacks in Ramadi and Qaryat al Majarrah areas,” a U.S. Special Operations Forces commander said following the mission. “It also shows that the government of Iraq will not allow anti-Iraqi forces to interfere with the Iraqi government and their plans to stabilize the al Anbar area.”

In operations July 27:

-- Apache helicopter crews assigned to Multinational Division Baghdad disrupted a small arms attack on a coalition outpost in southern Baghdad. The aircraft crew observed tracer rounds fired by five to seven men on the roof of a mosque in the area. The Apaches fired into a nearby field instead of engaging the insurgents on the mosque. The small arms fire ceased and the insurgents fled the area.

-- Four suspected insurgents were captured during a raid in Baghdad led by Iraqi army and security forces. With U.S. Special Forces advising, forces confiscated documents indentifying one of the men as a battalion commander for enemy forces. The alleged insurgents are responsible for placing explosively-formed penetrators around Baghdad. They are also believed to be responsible for attacks on Iraqi and coalition forces.

-- With U.S. Special Operations Forces present as advisers, Iraqi soldiers conducted a series of raids detaining two suspected insurgents believed to be responsible of numerous attacks against coalition forces and Iraqi citizens in the town of Husaybah. Rifles, ammunition and false identification cards were also seized during the operation.

One individual is allegedly responsible for the coordination and execution of multiple improvised explosive device, indirect fire and small arms attacks against coalition forces and Iraqi citizens. He is also suspected of financing and providing intelligence support for insurgent activities. Another detained individual is believed to be responsible for a series of bomb attacks. He is also allegedly involved in the kidnapping of Iraqi citizens.

“The capture and detainment of these individuals will greatly inhibit al Qaeda in Iraq activities in Western Iraq and reduce attacks in Habbaniyah and surrounding areas,” a U.S. Special Operations Forces commander said following the mission.

In operations July 26:

-- During Operation Marne Avalanche, paratroopers discovered three weapons caches and captured one insurgent from a cell responsible for attacks against citizens and security forces in North Babil. The caches contained two heavy machine guns with 575 rounds, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher with seven rounds, three assault rifles, an ammunition vest and a can of 7.62 mm ammunition.

“Going into areas like this, where insurgents have been running around freely really makes them think twice,” said Army Staff Sgt. John Panowich, a squad leader with the 25th Infantry Division. “No coalition or Iraqi security forces have been in that area for quite some time. So, for us to just pop up in his own backyard one night is going to keep him laying low and watching over his shoulder for a while.”

-- While conducting patrols as part of Operation Iron Blitz, U.S. soldiers located multiple weapons and munitions caches consisting of mortars, anti-aircraft guns with ammunition, containers filled with high explosives and other bomb-making materials.

Troops also discovered a car bomb factory containing several vehicles in different stages of completion. Aviation units later dropped a 500-pound bomb, destroying the facility.

While searching the building, troops found a kidnapping victim who had been taken while visiting relatives near Abu Ghraib. He claims to have been tortured and held for almost four days. Troops reunited the man with his family.

-- Iraqi and coalition forces killed 11 terrorists and detained 13 suspected terrorists in an effort to secure a village in the Diyala province during Operation Woodshed. The combined security forces, with assistance from attack helicopters, close-air support and field artillery assets, observed and killed several elements of enemy forces attempting to maneuver on their elements.

“The coalition and Iraqi forces will continue to conduct aggressive, intelligence-driven operations to target those organizations that have offered nothing but hatred and destruction to the citizens of Diyala,” said Army Col. David Sutherland, commander of coalition forces in the province. “The terrorists’ actions will not be tolerated, and in the end, they will be brought to justice.”

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq and Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Arabian Peninsula news releases.)

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