American Forces Press Service
Nov. 2, 2007 - Coalition and Iraqi forces killed 10 insurgents, captured three others and destroyed weapons in Iraq over the past two days, military officials said. Southeast of Baghdad in Salman Pak today, coalition forces targeted an alleged foreign terrorist facilitator with ties to senior al Qaeda members in the Arab Jabour area.
As troops approached the targeted building, armed terrorists engaged them with small-arms fire. To suppress the enemy fire, troops engaged the terrorists and called for supporting aircraft. Ground forces observed multiple secondary explosions from one of the buildings after coalition aircraft engaged it, which may indicate explosives were housed inside, military officials said.
The ground force continued to receive fire from several individuals who emerged from the target area. Coalition aircraft engaged and killed the enemy fighters. After the firefight, coalition forces found the lifeless bodies of 10 terrorists, two of whom were armed with suicide vests.
At the site, troops also discovered a small weapons cache, which included several suicide vests, heavy machine guns and anti-aircraft artillery. The building and cache were safely destroyed to prevent further use by terrorists, officials said.
In a separate operation today near Shaqat, coalition forces captured a wanted individual and another suspect. Military officials believe the wanted individual is an al Qaeda cell leader responsible for facilitating communications from network members to senior al Qaeda leader Abu Ayyub al Masri.
In Kirkuk, troops nabbed one suspect during an operation targeting a leader of the al Qaeda suicide-bomber network. Reports indicate the targeted individual is responsible for organizing, planning and directing car-bomb attacks against local Iraqi citizens. Military officials believe he is also a foreign-terrorist facilitator associated with al Qaeda in Iraq and foreign terrorist leaders.
"We're continuing to clear and hold areas where terrorists think they can hide," said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, a Multination Force Iraq spokesman. "By disrupting their operations, we are helping to ensure the safety of Iraqi citizens."
South of Baghdad yesterday, pilots destroyed an anti-aircraft weapon, military officials said. The Apache pilots, members of 1st Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, spotted two suspected insurgents walking away from the weapon, which they had covered with a tarp. The pilots destroyed the weapon with a Hellfire missile.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)