American Forces Press Service
Feb. 5, 2008 - Coalition forces in Iraq today detained eight suspected terrorists during operations to disrupt al Qaeda networks operating in the northern part of the country, military officials said.
-- In Dawr, coalition forces captured an alleged al Qaeda in Iraq weapons facilitator. The suspect reportedly sold artillery rounds and improvised explosive devices in the area. He also is believed to be associated with the alleged former leader of the al Qaeda in Iraq network in the city, who was detained Jan. 26. The suspect was injured in the operation and was treated on site before being detained.
-- In Tikrit, coalition forces captured an alleged al Qaeda in Iraq member linked to the facilitation of weapons and terrorists, terrorist financing and coordinating attacks against coalition forces and local citizens assisting with security efforts. Reports indicate the suspect is associated with a provincial al Qaeda in Iraq leader in Salahuddin and a Moroccan foreign-terrorist facilitator who was killed in September. Another suspected terrorist also was detained.
-- Coalition forces captured another alleged terrorist and two other suspects during another operation in Tikrit. The wanted individual reportedly is a member of an extremist group and is believed to maintain weapons caches in the area.
-- In southwestern Mosul, two suspected terrorists were detained, including a suspected associate of an al Qaeda in Iraq leader in the city. The alleged terrorist leader is linked to foreign terrorists and suicide bombers operating in the area.
"We will continue to target al Qaeda in Iraq networks, disrupting their ability to conduct brutal, indiscriminate attacks," said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "Successful operations like these, combined with efforts of Iraqi security forces, will erode al Qaeda's resources and their ability to terrorize the people of Iraq."
Also today, two men and a woman were killed near Tikrit during a firefight between coalition forces and two suspected terrorists. While entering a building, coalition soldiers were attacked by small-arms fire and returned fire. Afterward, coalition forces discovered the bodies of the men and the woman and an injured child. The child suffered leg injuries and was flown to a coalition hospital. The incident is under investigation.
In other news, about 100 Iraqi citizens advocated for the dismissal of Baqouba's police chief during a peaceful demonstration in Diyala province Feb. 3. The demonstration was conducted in an orderly fashion, officials said.
"The fact that the Iraqi people were able to conduct this peaceful protest is a testament to the evolving Iraqi democratic process," said Army Maj. Margaret Kageleiry, a coalition spokeswoman.
In Feb. 2 operations, suspected extremists kidnapped three Iraqi National Police officers from a checkpoint in Adhamiyah, near the Fardus Mosque in the Ur neighborhood. Six hours later, the police officers were released near another checkpoint after intensive efforts by Iraqi and coalition security forces to recover them.
Also Feb. 2, U.S. soldiers arrested three alleged Iranian-trained "special group" cell members, one believed to be a cell leader from Rusafa, during early morning raids in Baghdad's Rashid district. Another suspected special group cell member linked to weapons trafficking was captured by U.S. troops during a raid in Aamel. In Doura, U.S. soldiers arrested a man believed to be involved in al Qaeda activities.
A day earlier, U.S. soldiers with the 1st Infantry Division's 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team detained three men linked to a Sunni-extremist IED cell during a raid in Doura.
Also Feb. 1, in the village of Mashraf, Iraqi and U.S. forces detained two suspected al Qaeda members linked to multiple attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces. Near Tal Afar, an Iraqi commando team and U.S. Special Forces soldiers detained two more suspected terrorist cell leaders. Three terrorists were killed during the operation.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)