WASHINGTON, July 17, 2006 – Iraqi forces captured an insurgent cell leader in Baghdad July 13 and killed another insurgent leader in northern Iraq July 14, military officials reported. The Iraqi forces captured an insurgent cell leader, planner and organizer in a southern Baghdad mosque compound during a security operation July 13.
The Iraqi forces received small-arms fire almost immediately upon arrival at the mosque compound in the Al Rasheed district of Baghdad. Soon after arriving, they captured the insurgent leader, who is known for purchasing weapons and coordinating attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces, officials said. A coalition force adviser said all gunfire occurred outside of the mosque courtyard and was directed away from the mosque. At no time during this operation did Iraqi or coalition forces enter the mosque itself.
Iraqi forces detained six other "persons of interest" and seized weapons and military material. No visible damage was done to the mosque at the time Iraqi and coalition force advisers departed the scene, the adviser said. In a separate operation, Iraqi army forces killed an insurgent leader, Abdal-Ghafor, and captured four other suspected insurgents during an early morning raid July 14 in northern Iraq.
Iraqi forces and their coalition force advisers received fire as they approached an objective near Muhallabiyah, southeast of Tal Afar. Iraqi forces reacted immediately, assaulting the objective, killing Ghafor, a senior insurgent leader in the area, and capturing four more suspected insurgents. Ghafor also went by the names Abdal Rahman and Abu Ameen, officials said.
Iraqi soldiers also seized the following weapons from the objective: one sniper rifle; five AK-47 assault rifles; one hand grenade; one rocket-propelled grenade; one improvised explosive device; about 600 rounds of AK-47 ammunition; various amounts of other small-arms ammunition; three blasting caps; and IED-making materials that included wires and batteries.
In other news, coalition forces successfully targeted and captured another al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist and four additional suspects during a raid near Yusufiyah early today. Credible intelligence led the assault force to the location of the targeted terrorist, who was known to have ties to foreign fighters in the area. The suspect also is reported to be linked closely to senior al Qaeda in Iraq leaders and several previous coalition targets. The troops quickly secured the target location and captured the detainees without incident.