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Forces Kill Three Terrorists, Capture 12 Suspects

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 6, 2008 – Coalition and Iraqi forces killed three terrorists, captured 12 suspected insurgents and discovered multiple weapons caches in operations over the past four days in Iraq.

Two Apache helicopter air strikes killed three terrorists near Maderiyah during Operation Marne Thunderbolt on the night of Jan. 4 and the morning of Jan. 5.

In the first strike on Jan. 4, soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division’s Battery B, 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment, saw two suspects digging and lacing weapons caches in a canal.

The soldiers called for air support from the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade’s 1st Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment. When the terrorists heard the Apaches overhead, they fled to a nearby building. The helicopters engaged the terrorists with machine guns. A reconnaissance of the area confirmed both were killed.

The following day, soldiers reported another man digging in numerous spots in the same area on the canal. The man was identified as a terrorist and was engaged by Apache helicopters.

Hellfire missiles were fired, into the area where the terrorist was digging, to destroy any possible caches or explosives buried beneath the ground. The missiles produced secondary explosions confirming that munitions were hidden there.

In other operations, Iraqi security forces, advised by U.S. Special Forces, detained a suspected leader of an al-Qaeda in Iraq terror cell, a suspected criminal weapons supplier and two suspected terrorists in separate operations Jan. 4 and 5.

Iraqi Special Operations Forces detained the suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq cell leader near Balad on Jan 5. The individual is believed to lead a cell responsible for numerous mortar and improvised explosive device attacks against Iraqi and Coalition Forces stationed on Logistical Support Area Anaconda.

In Diwaniyah, Iraqi Forces detained a suspect believed to have been transporting weapons and providing financing to extremists operating in the region.

In Keshkul Kabir Iraqi Forces detained two suspected extremists and six other persons of interest. The operation targeted an extremist network involved in kidnapping and improvised explosive device attacks against Iraqi civilians in the area.

In another Jan. 4 operation, Iraqi Security Forces, advised by U.S. Special Forces, captured two suspected terrorists and two extremist cell leaders in separate raids.

In Mahmudiyah Iraqi Special Operations Forces detained two suspected extremists who are believed to be responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Iraqi citizens, weapons trafficking as well as attacks on Iraqi and Coalition Forces.

During the course of the operation, the assault force received

small arms fire from an individual near the target objective. Iraqi and

U.S. Forces engaged the individual, killing him.

In a separate operation, an Iraqi Special Weapons and Tactics Team from Ninewah detained two extremist cell leaders in western Mosul. The two suspects are believed to be responsible for financing and planning attacks against Iraqi and Coalition Forces along with smuggling weapons for extremists in the region.

No Iraqi or U.S. Forces were injured during these operations.

During a Jan. 3 operation in Barrah, Iraqi Security Forces, advised by U.S. Special Forces, captured four known extremists. The extremists are believed to be part of a counterfeiting and smuggling cell in and around villages near Barrah.

The suspects are reported to be involved in the smuggling and distribution of counterfeit U.S. and Iraqi currency, weapons and explosives, as well as reporting Iraqi Army and Coalition Forces movements to foreign fighters. One other suspect is being held for further questioning. No Iraqi or U.S. Forces were injured during the operation.

During a joint operation in Abu Tamur on Jan. 3, coalition forces and Iraqi army soldiers detained nine individuals and killed one enemy combatant. One of the detainees is a known al-Qaeda in Iraq operative wanted by the Iraqi Army for stealing weapons.

Soldiers of 2nd Infantry Division’s Company B and Company C, 1st Battalion, 38th

Infantry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, were clearing the village when they were engaged with small arms fire by enemy forces. One U.S. Soldier was wounded. The troops returned fire, killing one enemy combatant. The wounded Soldier was air-evacuated to Balad for medical treatment.

Five Iraqi Army Soldiers were killed and two wounded when a house-born improvised explosive device exploded in the house they were clearing. The wounded Iraqi Soldiers were taken to Forward Operating Base Warhorse.

Soldiers found a cache in the area containing weapons and ammunition.

During operations throughout the Mada'in Qada area Jan. 2, 3rd Infantry Division soldiers found and destroyed multiple weapons caches.

Soldiers of Company A, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, secured a cache found by Concerned Local Citizens in the Al Bawi area of the Mada'in Qada. The Mada'in Qada is a portion of the Baghdad province and is home to almost 900,000 Iraqis.

The cache was brought by CLCs to a local sheik's house where soldiers of the 789th Ordnance Company, attached to the 3rd HBCT, collected and destroyed the munitions. The cache, consisting of two 130 mm mortars, two strands of crush-wire, five rocket-propelled grenade warheads and one 82 mm mortar.

In a separate incident, the CLCs of Al Zatia informed soldiers of Battery A, 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery Regiment, of a cache consisting of one 155 mm round and one 157 mm round found during a patrol. Battery A soldiers and members of the 789th Ordnance Company moved to Al Zatia to secure and destroy the rounds.

In Jisr Diyala, an Iraqi citizen provided a tip to Iraqi security forces at the Joint Security Site that led to the discovery of a cache near Al Arifiyah.

Soldiers from Company D, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, and the 789th Ordnance Company secured the cache of munitions. The cache consisted of three 60 mm high-explosive mortars, one 82 mm HE mortar, and several Iraqi Police uniforms and patches.

"The (concerned local citizens) in the Mada'in Qada continue to provide us with

IED-making material on a daily basis," said Maj. Dave Fivecoat, the 3rd HBCT operations officers.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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