American Forces Press Service
Sept. 13, 2007 - Coalition forces killed five terrorists during operations today targeting al Qaeda leaders and operatives in central and northern parts of the Iraq. Based on intelligence gathered in an Aug. 30 operation, coalition forces targeted an al Qaeda senior leader in Baqubah. Two armed men who attempted to maneuver against the assault force were killed when coalition forces fired in self-defense. When coalition forces called for the target building's occupants to come out, the assault force saw a woman try to draw a pistol from a weapons belt she was wearing and fired in self-defense, killing her. Another woman was killed when she tried to retrieve and activate a grenade that dropped to the ground from underneath her clothes.
A fifth terrorist was killed as coalition forces targeted a senior al Qaeda leader in Baghdad believed to be involved in planning and executing car-bombing attacks against Iraqis and coalition forces. When an armed man emerged from that building and maneuvered against ground forces, the forces engaged and killed him. Two suspected terrorists were detained in the operation.
Elsewhere today, coalition forces in Mosul captured a wanted individual believed to conduct assassinations for al Qaeda. Forces detained three additional suspected terrorists in the raid.
In a separate operation that ended today, coalition troops teamed with Iraqi policemen and concerned local citizens to rid a major road of improvised explosive devices and al Qaeda cell members during a two-day operation in Tuwaitha. The mission's purpose was to clear the route and to establish an Iraqi capability to keep the route safe for civilian and military traffic.
About 60 Iraqis volunteered for the mission. The volunteers met Army Capt. Brian Gilbert, commander of Company D, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, currently attached to 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, at his company's combat outpost at the outset of the operation.
After clearing the route, soldiers worked with volunteers and policemen from 1st National Police Brigade to establish checkpoints with blast protection. The checkpoints will be manned by national police officers and Iraqi civilian volunteers from the local concerned citizens group.
In operations yesterday:
-- Iraqi army scouts with U.S. special operations forces as advisors conducted a helicopter raid near Taji that netted 12 suspected insurgents and destroyed a terrorist safe house that had been rigged to explode. When the assault team discovered a command detonation wire leading from an abandoned structure, the area was evacuated and close-air support destroyed the target with four laser-guided bombs. The targeted individuals are purportedly linked to the Lions of Islam martyr group and are suspected of improvised-explosive-device trafficking, facilitating foreign fighters and conducting murder and intimidation campaigns in the region.
-- Iraqi security forces detained two suspected al Qaeda terrorists accused of emplacing improvised explosive devices. One suspect in Owejela village in Heychall is allegedly responsible for a Sept. 6 improvised-explosive-device attack on Iraqi security forces. A second suspicious individual was detained during the operation.
-- An Iraqi army reconnaissance unit in Taji detained a suspect linked to improvised explosive device attacks on Iraqi and coalition forces in Taji and Hor al Bosh, including a July 20 attack.
In other news from Iraq this week, Iraqi security forces killed three suspected al Qaeda terrorists and detained 80 others during a three-day cordon-and-search operation that ended yesterday. The operation targeted al Qaeda operations in the Hamrin Ridge and Diyala River Valley area in eastern Iraq. The detainees include four suspected al Qaeda terrorist cell leaders.
Enemy fighters engaged elements of Iraqi security forces and U.S. Special Forces soldiers in three separate attacks with small arms and machine-gun fire. In one engagement, Iraqi and U.S. Special Forces called in precision aerial fires to suppress a dozen enemy fighters maneuvering against them resulting in one enemy killed. In a second engagement, Iraqi forces returned small-arms fire, killing two other enemy fighters. One enemy fighter was wounded. Iraqi forces also seized 40 AK-47 assault rifles and machine-gun ammunition.
(Compiled from Multinational Forces Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)