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Troops Disrupt al Qaeda Networks in Iraq, Find Detention Facility

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2007 – Coalition forces killed three terrorists and detained nine suspects today during operations to disrupt al Qaeda and foreign terrorist networks in central and northern Iraq.

During an operation west of Abu Ghraib, coalition forces targeted an alleged associate of several senior terrorist leaders in Kirkuk. Reports also indicate the targeted individual has information about foreign terrorists in the area. As the force secured the target, several men, one of whom was armed, maneuvered toward them. The suspected terrorists did not comply with the force’s instructions. The armed men continued to maneuver toward coalition troops, who engaged and killed them. Coalition forces detained two suspects.

In Mosul, coalition forces captured a wanted individual during an operation to disrupt al Qaeda operations. The wanted individual is believed to be a leader associated with car-bombing attacks in Baghdad. The man’s wife identified him to coalition forces, and he was subsequently detained.

In other operations along the Tigris River Valley, coalition forces detained six suspects believed to be associated with senior terrorist leaders, foreign terrorists, weapons procurement and al Qaeda media activities.

“Foreign terrorists are responsible for more than 90 percent of suicide bombings in Iraq, and we are relentlessly targeting al Qaeda’s foreign terrorist networks,” said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. “Increasingly, Iraqi citizens are helping us find these networks and Iraqi security forces are taking the lead in dismantling them.”

In other operations this week, coalition forces killed three terrorists, and discovered a weapons cache and an alleged detention facility during a multi-day operation Nov. 3-5 targeting al Qaeda and foreign terrorist networks south of Samarra. As coalition forces entered the target area, they observed armed men attempting to evade ground forces. Supporting aircraft engaged, killing two terrorists and destroying one vehicle. As the ground force continued to clear the area, they discovered a vehicle loaded with AK-47s rifles and potential explosive materials. The force observed an individual return to the location to retrieve equipment and engaged and killed him. Also during the operation, the ground force discovered a bunker allegedly used as a terrorist detention facility, and a small cache of weapons, which was destroyed.

“Across Iraq, citizens are rejecting al Qaeda’s barbaric detention facilities, torture houses and atrocities,” Danielson said. “We will continue to work with Iraqi citizens and their security forces to neutralize al Qaeda and the extremist vision they have for Iraq.”

Elsewhere, 18th Military Police Brigade and Multinational Division Baghdad troops worked together Nov. 5 to investigate a weapons cache near the police headquarters building in Baghdad. Soldiers from 4th Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, searched a soccer field across from police headquarters and found two caches that consisted of 10 120 mm mortar rounds, 13 60 mm mortar rounds, a hand grenade, 600 AK-47 rounds, 45 blocks of C4 explosive, a rocket-propelled grenade, 4,000 rounds, 10 82 mm mortars, and two sniper rifles.

Soldiers from 6th Iraqi Army Division advised by U.S. Special Forces soldiers captured seven al Qaeda extremists during operations in Mansour on Nov. 4. The primary target for the operation was a suspected al Qaeda leader who reportedly organized and personally conducted kidnappings, murders and car-bombing attacks. He reportedly ran a criminal network thought to be behind terrorist attacks in numerous districts of Baghdad. The suspect is believed to have ordered the murder of a family of three and the killing of eight construction workers. He also is thought to be behind the attempted murder of a city council chairman and a bombing attack that killed three Iraqi checkpoint guards. During the operation, Iraqi and U.S. forces detained eight additional suspects for questioning.

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

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