Coalition Forces Capture Key Extremist Leaders in Iraq, Kill Three Insurgents
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2007 Iraqi and coalition forces detained six suspects, including several key extremist militant leaders, killed three insurgents and seized a weapons cache in Iraq over the past three days, military officials said.
Iraqi special operations forces, with U.S. special forces advisers, detained an extremist militant company commander and a cell member yesterday during an operation in Ad Diwaniyah.
During the operation, enemy fighters initiated an attack on the combined force with an improvised-explosive-device, small-arms and machine gun fire. The combined force returned fire, killing three enemy fighters and wounding several others.
The captured extremist commander led more than 20 enemy fighters responsible for launching improvised-explosive-device, explosively-formed-penetrator and indirect fire attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces in the area, military officials said.
Coalition forces suspect the group of attacking a coalition base in Ad Diwaniyah with indirect fire on July 5,. The group allegedly assaulted a local police station two days later, killing two Iraqi police officers and firing on coalition forces as they rushed to aid victims. Intelligence reports indicate that the group has launched more than 450 rocket and mortar attacks on the coalition base during the past four months, military officials said.
In a separate operation yesterday in the Bayaa area of Baghdad, Iraqi special operations forces detained an extremist militant battalion commander. The suspect is linked to extrajudicial killings, kidnappings and removing Sunni residents from the area.
During a Sept. 14 raid, Iraqi troops with U.S. special forces advisers detained a Shiite extremist cell member in Wassit Province. The suspect conducts improvised-explosive-device, explosively-formed-penetrator and direct fire attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces in the al Aziziyah area, military officials said.
Military officials allege that on Aug. 23, the suspect's cell detonated an explosively-formed penetrator on a combined forces convoy, killing two coalition soldiers and wounding three others. He also was involved in an Aug. 2 improvised-explosive-device, or IED, attack on a convoy that killed two civilian contractors.
Further intelligence indicates the extremist is a member of a cell that conducts extrajudicial killings against innocent civilians. The suspect also is accused of criminal acts against the citizens of the town of al Aziziyah, including emplacing IEDs, and conducting assaults and kidnappings.
During the raid, Iraqi and U.S. forces confiscated two AK-47 assault rifles and six grenades. Troops detained two other suspects for further questioning.
(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)