American Forces Press Service
Sept. 24, 2007 - Iraqi and coalition forces killed five insurgents, detained 15 suspects and destroyed a weapons cache in Iraq over the past three days, military officials said. During operations east of Tikrit today, coalition and Iraqi forces targeted senior al Qaeda leaders and foreign terrorist facilitators. At the target area, the combined force discovered three armed insurgents in a courtyard.
After the insurgents failed to disarm, combined forces engaged them, killing three. The slain insurgents are believed to be tied to a Baghdad-based network responsible for car-bombing attacks and facilitating the movement of foreign terrorists into the Tigris River Valley, military officials said. During the operation, troops discovered several weapons caches, ammunition and military-style uniforms. An explosives team safely destroyed the weapons on site.
Northeast of Mosul today, coalition forces targeted associates of an al Qaeda emir who operates in northwestern Iraq. Troops captured five suspected terrorists, including one suspect who allegedly is responsible for arranging vehicles, distributing wages and supplying false documentation for al Qaeda members, military officials said. He and another suspect are believed to be brothers of the emir.
Two coalition force operations in Baghdad and the northern belt of the Iraqi capital targeted key al Qaeda operatives today. Troops detained one suspected terrorist in Baghdad and nabbed another west of Tarmiyah.
"Terrorists who commit murderous acts against the people of Iraq have no place in this country's future," said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "We will remain on the offensive and root them out of their hiding places."
In eastern Baghdad today, coalition forces arrested a kidnapper and detained four other suspects. Military officials said the detainees are part of a "special groups" cell supported by Iran and were involved in kidnapping operations and other crimes against Iraqi citizens and security forces. As coalition forces raided the targeted site, suspects engaged the troops with small arms and improvised explosive devices, including at least one explosively formed penetrator, a shaped charge designed to pierce armor. The ground forces retaliated and killed one individual, military officials said.
Troops detained three suspects wanted for insurgent activities during a Sept. 22 raid south of Hawr Rajab. During the operation, the paratroopers, who are attached to 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, nabbed three individuals on their target list. The detainees are suspected of planting and detonating improvised explosive devices, military officials said.
Also that day in Ninewah province, Iraqi security forces prevented an attempted hijacking by terrorists targeting two buses filled with passengers. When Iraqi police in Mosul received initial reports that a bus hijacking was in progress, they informed 2nd Brigade, 2nd Iraqi Army Division. A company of Iraqi army soldiers responded and engaged the hijackers, killing one and injuring another. The remaining individuals fled while Iraqi soldiers recovered the buses. The passengers and buses were taken to a nearby combat outpost. No passengers were reported injured.
"The swift coordination and response by Iraqi security forces prevented the kidnapping of these passengers," said Army Col. Stephen Twitty, commander of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. "Their actions ensured the safety and security of these innocent civilians."
(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq and Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)