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U.S. Soldiers Detain ‘Special Groups’ Suspect in Baghdad Raid

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2008 – U.S. soldiers detained a suspected Iranian-trained “Special Groups” militia leader during an operation in the Rusafa district of eastern Baghdad today.

The detainee is linked to a terrorist cell that is suspected of emplacing roadside bombs that target innocent citizens and Iraqi and coalition security forces.

“Detaining this criminal leader will enhance security and stability for the people of Baghdad," Army Maj. Joey Sullinger, a U.S. 10th Mountain Division spokesman, said. “With him behind bars, progress and improvements of essential services in the areas where he conducted his crimes can proceed with greater ease.”

In other actions in Baghdad today:

-- Coalition forces captured two alleged al-Qaida leaders during separate operations in Baghdad. An associate of a suspected al-Qaida leader led coalition forces to one wanted man who reportedly was planning a car bombing. After the man was detained, he helped coalition forces capture another al-Qaida associate.

-- Coalition troops captured a suspected foreign-terrorist facilitator during an operation in Baghdad. The detainee is linked to known terrorists who plan suicide bombings targeting Iraqi civilians.

-- Coalition forces detained seven suspected terrorists during an anti-al-Qaida operation in Baghdad.

In operations yesterday, Iraqi security forces seized weapons caches during operations throughout Baghdad. “Sons of Iraq” citizen security group members secured a hand grenade and an improvised hand grenade in the East Rashid district. The weapons were disposed of by a U.S. explosive ordnance squad.

At about the same time, Iraqi soldiers seized a mortar round, a rifle, a pistol and a rifle scope in the Mansour area of Baghdad. Also, Iraqi police found an improvised explosive device, two rifles, a rocket-propelled grenade, three hand grenades, seven mortars, five mortar war heads, and nine machine gun ammunition belts in the West Rashid area.

Also yesterday, coalition forces in Beiji captured a man allegedly involved in terrorist bombings and foreign-terrorist-facilitation operations.

In Aug. 9 operations:

-- In Diyala province, Iraqi and U.S. soldiers found several improvised explosive devices that had been placed inside a school in the village of Tahwilla. An explosive ordnance disposal team blew up the seized explosives. An air strike was called in to destroy any potential explosives not found in the school. The Iraqi army, establishing a long-term presence in Tahwilla, will work with provincial officials to replace the school, officials said.

-- U.S. soldiers detained a suspected al-Qaida member during an operation in the Abu Tshir community of the Rashid district in southern Baghdad. The man was arrested for complicity in the murder of a Sons of Iraq volunteer. The soldiers detained the individual based on sworn statements made by Iraqi citizens who witnessed the murder. The U.S. soldiers delivered the detainee to a coalition base.

-- U.S. soldiers confiscated a weapons cache during a patrol northwest of Baghdad. The cache contained 20 mortar rounds, 106 fuses and 80 artillery projectiles.

-- In Kanaan east of Baqouba, Iraqi special operations forces detained two suspected al-Qaida terrorists. The detainees are linked to emplacements of improvised explosive devices.

In Aug. 8 operations:

-- An Iraqi special weapons and tactics team detained a suspected al-Qaida weapons facilitator in Tikrit. The suspect is linked to providing weapons for terrorist operations in the Salahuddin area. The detainee was recently pardoned through the Iraqi reconciliation program, but he apparently continued to assist al Qaida terrorists.

-- In Babil, an Iraqi special weapons and tactics team from Hillah detained two suspected Special Groups criminals. The individuals are wanted for their alleged involvement in an improvised explosive device-emplacement cell.

-- In Amarah, Iraqi police uncovered a suspected Special Groups weapons cache. The cache contained about 70 mortar rounds, 20 rocket-propelled-grenade rounds and several mortar round carriers.

-- In Diyala, Iraqi special operations forces detained two suspected al-Qaida members and found a weapons cache. The detainees are linked to supporting local criminal activities and attacks on coalition bases.

-- In the Mahmudiyah area of Diyala, Iraqi special operations forces detained eight suspected al-Qaida terrorists. The detainees are linked to local illegal checkpoints, direct-fire attacks and kidnappings.

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

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