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Iraqi Forces Capture Three Death Squad Leaders; Kidnap Victims Rescued

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20, 2006 – Iraqi army forces captured three death squad leaders during raids in Baghdad Aug. 18. The captured leaders allegedly participated in a massacre of Iraqi families last month, U.S. military officials reported.

Coalition advisers provided support during the raids, and all three suspects were captured without incident. The men allegedly participated in a July 9 ambush of Iraqi families at a checkpoint in the al Jihad area, officials said.

One of the captured leaders is a senior-level insurgent believed to be the overall organizer of the massacre. Another is a senior-level insurgent leader whose cell allegedly established the al Jihad checkpoint. He and his cell also are believed to be responsible for kidnappings and murders in two Baghdad districts, burning and looting local businesses, and makeshift bomb attacks.

Elsewhere in Baghad, Iraqi army soldiers rescued a kidnap victim after receiving a tip from an Iraqi citizen Aug. 18.

The Iraqi citizen led soldiers from 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, to a Baghdad house where the victims and a weapons cache were located. Two suspected terrorists were detained in connection with the kidnapping.

Inside the building, the soldiers seized two rocket-propelled-grenade launchers, rocket-propelled-grenade rounds, rocket-propelled-grenade charges, a rifle, and hand grenades.

In a separate Aug. 18 incident, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers rescued three kidnap victims after receiving a tip from an Iraqi citizen southeast of Baghdad.

A young Iraqi man informed a coalition interpreter attached to Company C, 1st Battalion, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, that there were kidnap victims inside a nearby house.

The soldiers found three victims tied up, blindfolded and lying on the floor with a kidnapper watching over them. They detained the kidnapper without incident, officials said.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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