American Forces Press Service
Dec. 27, 2007 - Coalition troops killed 11 insurgents and captured 19 others during separate operations in Iraq today, military officials reported. In Mosul, coalition troops captured a wanted individual believed to be responsible for a group of terrorists who conduct assassinations in the city, including attacks against Iraqi security forces. Intelligence indicates the wanted individual is responsible for reporting on the locations of coalition and Iraqi forces for use in planning attacks. He also allegedly is involved in extortion, execution and counterintelligence operations. Six other suspected terrorists also were detained.
Northeast of Samarra, coalition forces targeted an associate of an al Qaeda in Iraq leader involved in terrorist media and propaganda operations. The targeted individual also is believed to be tied to foreign terrorist and weapons facilitation networks operating in and outside of Iraq. Seven suspected terrorists were detained and a vehicle that was being used for terrorist activity was destroyed.
During other operations in Samarra and Baghdad, coalition forces detained five suspected terrorists while targeting associates involved in the facilitation of weapons, finances and foreign terrorists.
"We remain steadfast in our effort to dismantle al Qaeda's terrorist networks," said Navy Capt. Vic Beck, Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "We will continue to hunt down al Qaeda. They will find no safe haven in Iraq."
Meanwhile, coalition forces in Iraq today killed an estimated 11 terrorists during operations targeting "special groups" criminal networks in Kut. Coalition troops were targeting a special groups member reportedly responsible for attacks against coalition forces and supporters of coalition forces. The individual reportedly also was an associate of criminal element leaders involved in attacks on coalition forces.
When coalition forces approached the target area, they were engaged by terrorists with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades. Coalition forces returned fire and called for air support. The ground force assessed that about 11 terrorists were killed during the engagement.
Iraqi commandos, advised by U.S. Special Forces, detained a suspected terrorist weapons dealer during a Dec. 25 raid in Baghdad. The suspect is believed to deal in a variety of weapons systems, including mortars, rockets and medium and small arms. He also is thought to be a possible improvised explosive device cell leader. During the raid, the assault force recovered several weapons, including two assault rifles, four grenades, three combat knives, 11 AK-47 magazines, an RPG launcher sight and an IED initiation system.
Also on Dec. 25, U.S. soldiers in Baqouba shot and killed a person who later was identified as a concerned local citizen who wasn't wearing the appropriate identifying clothing at the time.
The U.S. troops spotted a suspicious-looking individual wearing civilian clothes and carrying an AK-47. The individual was not wearing a reflective belt or reflective vest, which would have identified him as a concerned local citizen. The U.S. soldiers yelled at the individual to drop his weapon, but the individual responded by firing several shots at the soldiers, who then returned fire.
Immediately thereafter, a second individual arrived and attempted to pick up the fallen person's weapon. In response to the perceived hostile act, the soldiers fired on him, as well. Both men died from gunshot wounds.
An immediate investigation conducted by Iraqi police and coalition forces found that one of the deceased was identified as a CLC member and was carrying a reflective vest and reflective belt in a small pouch. Neither individual was wearing a reflective device when coalition forces fired upon them.
"It has been made very clear to all of our CLCs that they must wear their reflective items at all times," said Army Maj. Mike Garcia, a U.S. military spokesman. "Additionally, CLCs, by definition, are a stationary, defensive force. When they are encountered moving offensively without the proper reflective equipment on, that makes them a hostile threat to coalition and Iraqi security forces."
Coalition forces immediately contacted Iraqi police and brought them to the scene. "I have had four suicide attacks in my (area of operations) in the last few weeks," said U.S. Army spokesman Lt. Col. Ricardo Love. "One of my squad leaders made a decision based on the credible threat that one of these guys could be wearing a suicide device, and I support that."
Later that day, the funeral procession for the two deceased individuals was attacked by a suicide-vest bomber. The attack killed four Iraqis and wounded 20 other people.
In other recent Iraq operations:
-- Coalition forces killed 12 terrorists, detained 37 suspects and freed one hostage during Dec. 22-25 anti-al Qaeda operations conducted near Muqdadiyah. Coalition forces also discovered several sites where terrorists allegedly conducted attacks. One of the sites was assessed to be a firing point for improvised explosive device attacks. At that location, the ground force discovered a structure with various wires leading from a vantage point to a nearby road intersection. Coalition forces also located and destroyed eight weapons caches, which included machines guns, a sniper rifle, pistols, RPG rounds and propellant, ammunition, grenades, detonation cord and several bags of homemade explosives.
-- Iraqi national police found two weapons caches Dec. 24, after receiving a tip on terrorist activity near the Al-Kartheemain Mosque in Baghdad's east Rashid section. When the police and U.S. soldiers arrived, the suspected terrorists had fled into the mosque. The police searched the mosque and found two caches. The first cache included 107 mm rockets. The second cache consisted of mortar rounds, plastic explosives, TNT, grenades and other components needed to make IEDs.
-- U.S. soldiers arrested two men and Iraqi police and security volunteers found an IED in a home during operations in Baghdad's Rashid district Dec. 23. "Black Lions" of Company D, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, while on a joint patrol with 2nd Battalion, 5th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi National Police Division, found a weapons cache inside a medical administration office in Bayaa. Two men in the building were arrested for being upon the cache of 57 AK-47 assault rifles, three machine guns and an RPG. The suspects were handed over to Iraqi security forces for further questioning. Earlier that day in Baghdad's Doura neighborhood, a group of Iraqi security volunteers were moving a family into a home, when they found two mortar rounds taped together and wired for detonation. The volunteers turned over the bomb and an anti-tank weapon to U.S. soldiers for disposal.
(From Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)