WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2006 – Iraqi soldiers and police chalked up a series of victories in recent anti-terrorist operations conducted across the country, according to U.S. military officials. First, Iraqi soldiers captured several suspected members of insurgent and murder and kidnapping cells, including the alleged leader of an al Qaeda in Iraq cell, during a series of early morning raids across Baghdad Oct. 20.
Iraqi forces, with coalition advisers, conducted three separate raids and detained eight suspects believed responsible for sectarian murders and kidnappings, as well as improvised explosive device attacks on Iraqi and coalition forces.
In a raid in the Adhamiyah area of Baghdad, Iraqi soldiers detained two suspects responsible for sectarian attacks against civilians and indirect fire attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces.
In two other Oct. 20 raids in southwestern Baghdad, special Iraqi army forces detained four suspected terrorists involved in IED, rocket-propelled grenade and small-arms fire attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces. Two persons suspected of sectarian attacks against Iraqi civilians were also detained.
One operation occurred in the vicinity of the Al Mluki Mosque in the Monsour district of Baghdad. Iraqi and coalition forces did not enter the mosque and didn't cause any damage to it. There were no civilian, Iraqi forces or coalition forces casualties. The raids were conducted as part of Operation Together Forward with the goal of disrupting terror cells that kill innocent Iraqi citizens and attack government forces.
In other news, special Iraqi security forces captured two terrorists and killed two others during a raid near Taji on Oct. 19. Iraqi forces, with coalition advisers, conducted an air-assault raid looking for five al Qaeda in Iraq-linked terrorists allegedly responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Iraqi citizens and conducting IED attacks in the Taji area. The suspects had outstanding Ministry of Interior arrest warrants.
Iraqi forces entered the objective and encountered three male local citizens. One man immediately surrendered. Another man grabbed a pistol. He was shot and killed by the assault force. A third man, sitting behind the second man, was wounded in the exchange.
Coalition medics rendered first aid to the wounded man. As Iraqi forces continued to clear the objective, a second male citizen was shot and killed after he grabbed a rifle and made threatening gestures. The four persons were identified as the wanted terrorists. The Iraqi force returned to base with two detainees. Additionally, Iraqi police remained vigilant after beating back an insurgent attack in Mosul on Oct. 19.
Al Qaeda in Iraq forces employed two suicide truck bombs against the Abi
Tamaam Police Station in eastern Mosul early on Oct. 19. The first truck bomb exploded near the station's entry control point, blowing down protective walls and creating a sizeable crater in the road. The second truck, unable to penetrate the police station's perimeter due to the crater and debris left over from the first truck bomb, detonated in the street.
The attack killed 10 Iraqi civilians and one Iraqi police officer, while nine police and 15 civilians were wounded. Two insurgents were killed in the attack.
"The Iraqi police took the brunt and stood their ground," said Col. Steve Townsend, commander, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Task Force Lightning. "We're immensely proud of their resilience." Later in the morning two other suicide truckers blew up their vehicles during an attack on U.S. troops. Two U.S. soldiers were wounded and two Stryker vehicles were damaged from the explosion. The wounded soldiers were treated and returned to duty. Two insurgents were killed in the attack.
Iraqi soldiers and coalition troops supported the Iraqi police, who had faced insurgents' indirect and small-arms fire throughout the morning. A coalition engineer team was dispatched to the police station to remove the destroyed vehicles, repair the road, and rebuild the wall. "We wanted to show our solidarity after their heroic stand," Townsend said.