American Forces Press Service
Feb. 14, 2008 - Coalition forces killed seven terrorists and detained 16 suspects yesterday and today during operations to disrupt al Qaeda networks in central and northern Iraq, military officials said. During a series of operations south of Sharqat yesterday and early this morning, coalition forces targeted an alleged al Qaeda in Iraq leader for the Salahuddin province. The targeted suspect allegedly is responsible for the equipping, financing and planning of al Qaeda operations in northern Iraq and is associated with senior level al Qaeda members operating inside and outside the country.
As coalition forces arrived at one of the target locations, multiple armed personnel moved into position against them. Two armed terrorists fired at coalition forces, who killedthe terrorists. A supporting aircraft was called to engage the remaining threat, killing an additional four terrorists. During the engagement, one civilian was wounded, treated on site and transported to a military medical facility for further care.
As the ground troops cleared the area, they found various weapons and ammunition in and around the target buildings. Coalition forces detained 15 suspected terrorists during the series of operations.
Yesterday and today in Baghdad, coalition forces captured an alleged associate of the al Qaeda in Iraq network in Karkh, which is responsible for improvised-explosive-device and car-bomb attacks in the area. Reports indicate the suspect also is associated with an al Qaeda media and propaganda network in the city, including a suspect detained Feb. 8 for his involvement in media operations.
In southeastern Mosul yesterday, coalition forces targeted an alleged associate of al Qaeda in Iraq senior leaders operating in the area, including a senior-level foreign-terrorist facilitator. As the ground forces cleared the target building, they were engaged by small-arms fire from a terrorist wearing a suicide belt. Coalition forces engaged the armed terrorist, killing him. Once the area was secure, an expert explosives team destroyed the suicide belt to prevent future use.
In other Iraq news, an Iraqi national police officer was killed and one was injured when they came under fire while securing the site of a possible unexploded roadside bomb in Samarra on Feb. 12. Initial reports indicate multiple suspects were detained, but most have been released. In addition, coalition forces detained four individuals who were identified as known roadside-bomb emplacers. The injured police officer was evacuated to the Samarra Hospital for treatment.
In Baghdad on Feb. 11, soldiers from 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division, seized munitions in the Karada security district after acting on an Iraqi citizen's tip.
Iraqi soldiers reported to 5th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery, officials that the patrol seized 53 Russian-made 37 mm anti-aircraft rounds. The munitions were secured and successfully transported to a safe location without incident.
Also Feb. 11, Iraqi special operations forces with U.S. Special Forces soldiers advising detained two suspected extremists in separate operations.
In Baghdad, an Iraqi special operations team advised by U.S. Special Forces soldiers detained an extremist cell leader. The suspect and his extremist group are believed to be responsible for rocket and mortar attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces. They also are believed to be responsible for IED and armor-piercing explosively formed projectile attacks, as well as weapons trafficking.
In Baqouba, an Iraqi special operations team advised by U.S. Special Forces soldiers detained a member of an extremist cell suspected of supplying explosive vests for use in suicide-bombing attacks. According to intelligence reports, the cell also is involved in smuggling explosives.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)