WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2006 – Iraqi soldiers, with coalition assistance, captured suspected terrorists in two separate operations near Baghdad yesterday. Iraqi security forces captured one individual believed to belong to a kidnapping and murder cell in the Jabbur area, south of Baghdad. Iraqi forces, with coalition advisors, quickly secured the objective area and entered multiple buildings looking for members of a kidnapping and murder cell allegedly responsible for numerous violent crimes against Iraqi civilians. The targeted individuals had outstanding Ministry of Interior arrest warrants. Iraqi forces detained one individual and departed the area.
During their return to base, the Iraqi convoy received rocket-propelled-grenade fire. The Iraqi troops identified the enemy fighting position and engaged the enemy with accurate, controlled fires to suppress the threat, according to U.S. officials. Coalition aircraft escorting the Iraqi forces engaged the enemy fighters and killed three.
Elsewhere, special Iraqi army forces conducted an early-morning raid in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood and captured a suspected bomb maker responsible for improvised explosive device attacks against Iraqi civilians. The bomb maker is allegedly the leader of a criminal cell constructing weapons for use by illegal armed groups, including roadside bombs used in sectarian attacks against Iraqi citizens as well as bombs that specifically target Iraqi army and coalition forces.
Iraqi forces with coalition advisors quickly surrounded the objective area and found the suspected bomb maker after a short search. During the operation, Iraqi forces killed one armed enemy fighter who posed an immediate threat, according to U.S. military officials. The Iraqi force then withdrew from the area with the targeted individual and five other detainees.
"The raid, conducted as part of Operation Together Forward, demonstrates the resolve of Iraqi forces to operate wherever needed to protect Iraqi citizens, establish legitimate rule of law, and provide for a safe and secure Iraq," U.S. officials said in a statement. No Iraqi or coalition forces were killed or injured during either of these operations.
In other news from Iraq, Iraqi security and coalition forces clashed with terrorists around 6 p.m. yesterday in Diwaniyah, near the Al Qaim Mosque, in the Chalabia district.
A joint coalition and Iraqi patrol was conducting a routine movement through the city of Diwaniyah and stopped to speak with Iraqi police at a checkpoint across from the mosque. As the Iraqi and coalition soldiers were preparing to continue their patrol, two grenades were thrown from near the mosque. The Iraqi soldiers immediately returned fire and killed two terrorists in an alley next to the mosque. Less than a minute after the grenades were thrown, terrorists with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades attacked the patrol.
The Iraqi and coalition soldiers immediately repositioned vehicles and returned fire. During the attack, six to seven enemy fighters dressed as Iraqi policemen fired upon the patrol. The patrol returned fire and killed six of the terrorists dressed as police and heavily damaged a pickup truck with Iraqi police markings.
Neither Iraqi security nor coalition forces entered the mosque.
As the patrol departed, a terrorist on the roof of the mosque fired on the trail vehicle. Soldiers returned fire and killed the terrorist. During the attack, about eleven enemy fighters were killed. An RPG damaged a coalition Humvee during the attack, and two coalition soldiers were wounded.