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Coalition Forces Kill Two Militants, Detain 35 Suspects, Capture Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 6, 2008 – Coalition and Iraqi forces killed two enemy fighters, captured 35 suspects and seized weapons caches in Iraq the past three days, military officials said.

In Iraq today:

-- During separate operations aimed at capturing al-Qaida associates in Sharqat, Husaybah, Beiji and Baghdad, coalition forces killed one suspected terrorist, and detained three others.

-- Troops detained seven suspects during an operation near Iskandariyah targeting a man who military officials believe is responsible for coordinating suicide car bombings.

-- Coalition forces captured the suspected member of an Iranian-backed “Special Group” during operations in the Karadah district of the Iraqi capital. The suspect has conducted rocket attacks on coalition and Iraqi bases, smuggled weapons from Iran, and has helped associates travel to the Islamic Republic for militant training, U.S. military officials said.

Yesterday in Iraq:

-- Coalition forces detained nine suspects during two operations targeting al-Qaida in Iraq’s senior leaders and operatives in Bi’aj and Beiji. One of the suspects allegedly is a terrorist financier, and several others are believed to be members of a bombing network that operates in the Tigris River Valley, military officials said.

-- Iraqi army and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers captured four individuals in the Rashid district of the Iraqi capital suspected of making fake identification cards. Troops also confiscated stockpiles of weapons that included grenades, assault rifles, mortar rounds and homemade explosives.

-- Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers detained three suspects in Baghdad’s Rashid district. The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division soldiers captured the suspects in the Shurta community before transferring them to a coalition forces base for further processing. Troops also discovered a weapons cache in the southern district of the Iraqi capital.

During July 4 operations, Iraqi special operations forces and Iraqi army soldiers killed a suicide bomber and detained eight suspects in the Ninewah province.

In the first of two operations, an enemy fighter fled into a home and reemerged wearing a vest laden with explosives. Iraqi forces killed the individual with small-arms fire before he was able to detonate the suicide bomb.

Seven of the suspects captured in this operation comprise a cell that reportedly uses intimidation and extortion to finance the Islamic State of Iraq, a front organization for al-Qaida in Iraq, military officials said. The cell leader also is suspected of killing an Iraqi police officer.

In another Ninewah province operation, troops captured the other suspect, who military officials believe is the leader of a separate al-Qaida in Iraq cell.

Meanwhile in Taji, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers seized a munitions cache. The stockpile contained two tanks of chlorine and other bomb-making materials, mortar rounds, grenades and other military equipment.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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