American Forces Press Service
Feb. 20, 2008 - Iraqi and coalition troops identified a slain terrorist, rescued a kidnapped civilian and destroyed a munitions cache in Iraq over the past three days. Military officials today positively identified Abu Karrar as one of the terrorists killed during an operation earlier this week.
Karrar, also known as Arkan Khalaf Khudayyir, was a senior intelligence leader involved in the al Qaeda in Iraq network in Baqouba. He also was linked to the suicide-bombing network in the Diyala River Valley region, which among other strikes, is responsible for recent attacks in Baghdad conducted by female suicide bombers.
As coalition forces conducted an operation near Khan Bani Sad on Feb. 17, they saw Karrar and another suspect fleeing their vehicle. Karrar brandished a weapon and intended to fire on coalition forces, military officials said. The assault force engaged, killing both men. Upon subsequent search of the vehicle, coalition forces found an AK-47 assault rifle and ammunition, which they later destroyed.
"Iraqi and coalition forces will relentlessly pursue terrorist leaders like Abu Karrar who plan al Qaeda's indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians," said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.
Officials noted that recent coalition operations in the Diyala region had disrupted the local suicide-bombing network.
In other news, Iraqi and coalition forces yesterday rescued a kidnapping victim bound in a hole under the Intisar neighborhood of Mosul.
A local resident expressed suspicion to the combined force that a possible terrorist prison and interrogation facility existed in the neighborhood. While searching the target area, Iraqi soldiers noticed a "disturbed" area on the courtyard grounds. Upon closer inspection, combined forces discovered the inconsistent pattern of dirt was covering a padlocked hatch.
Troops cut the lock and found the kidnapping victim in an underground chamber. The handcuffed man, who told forces that he had been locked in the room for a couple days, was transported to a coalition medical facility for treatment.
"The terrorists continue to try and intimidate the Iraqi people through kidnapping and other tactics of fear," said Army Maj. Gary Dangerfield, a 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment spokesman. "The Iraqi security forces and its coalition partners will maintain a relentless pursuit of insurgents by either capturing or killing them."
Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers seized a munitions cache Feb. 18 northwest of the Iraqi capital. An Iraqi citizen relayed the cache's location to Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division's Company C, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team.
The cache included eight rounds of varying sizes, 17 18-pound bombs and seven improvised explosive devices designed to look like speed bumps. An explosive ordnance disposal team safely detonated the munitions.
"Finding and destroying these caches continues to degrade terrorist operations," said Army Maj. Al Hing, a spokesman for the unit. "Every operation we execute brings increased security for the Iraqi people."
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)