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Iraqi Forces Capture Key Insurgent Leaders, Rescue Kidnap Victims

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Aug. 21, 2006 – Iraqi forces captured two key insurgent leaders in Baghdad yesterday and rescued five kidnap victims in separate operations Aug. 18 and 19 in different areas of Iraq, U.S. military officials reported.

Iraqi army forces conducted simultaneous, precision raids on three objectives in southern Baghdad yesterday, capturing two key insurgent leaders as part of Operation Together Forward.

As coalition advisers supported, Iraqi forces captured these two insurgents without incident at a residence in the Rasheed district. Both men exercise control over all death squad activity in the Dora, Sahha and Abu D’Shair districts in Baghdad, officials said. One of these individuals also allegedly controls a Baghdad “husainiyah,” or Shiite religious center, where he tortures and kills Iraqi citizens.

Four other suspicious individuals also were detained during this operation.

Elsewhere, soldiers from 5th Battalion, 6th Iraqi Army Division, rescued a kidnapped woman from a house in Karkh at about 4 p.m. Aug. 19.

A woman who claimed she had been kidnapped entered the Iraqi soldiers’ office and led them to a house nearby, where she said another kidnapped woman was inside. The soldiers raided the house and found the other woman and two kidnappers.

Soldiers arrested the kidnappers, and the women were released unharmed.

In another operation, Iraqi army soldiers conducted a raid and rescued a kidnap victim after receiving a tip from a concerned Iraqi citizen that led them to a location in Baghdad’s Adhamiyah neighborhood Aug. 18.

The Iraqi citizen led soldiers from 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, to a house where the victims and a weapons cache were located.

Inside the building they seized two rocket-propelled-grenade launchers, 20 RPG rounds, nine RPG propellant charges, an AK-47, two sniper rifles and 12 hand grenades. Two suspected terrorists were detained in connection with the kidnapping.

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

Soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, were approached by a young man who informed an interpreter that there were kidnap victims inside a nearby house.

The soldiers moved to the house, where they found three victims tied up, blindfolded and lying on the floor with a kidnapper watching over them. Soldiers entered the house and rescued the victims and detained the kidnapper.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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