American Forces Press Service
March 25, 2008 - A U.S. air strike killed five terrorists and wounded several other insurgents from among a group that was attempting to emplace a roadside bomb in the Basra, Iraq, area yesterday, U.S. military officials said. Coalition forces killed the five suspected terrorists and wounded several others after a group of about 10 individuals were spotted conducting suspicious activity in Basra's Hyyaniyah district.
After verifying the individuals were burying what appeared to be a roadside bomb, coalition forces directed an air strike against the enemy force. There were no coalition-force casualties.
In other recent operations:
-- U.S. helicopter crews destroyed 10 rocket-launching rails March 23 northeast of Baghdad that enemy forces had been using to launch attacks. Apache helicopter crews from 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment reported seeing rockets launched from the area earlier that evening. Upon arrival, the air crews discovered the launching rails and requested clearance to destroy them. Upon receiving clearance, the crews cleared the area, fired on the rails and destroyed all 10 targets. There was no other damage as a result of destroying the targets.
-- U.S. soldiers killed four suspected al Qaeda members, wounded one, and detained eight during two separate March 23 engagements in Diyala province. During an Iraqi-led clearing operation in Qasaibah, near Muqdadiyah, an Apache helicopter fired on an enemy position, killing three insurgents. Two other suspects fled the area. U.S. soldiers killed one insurgent and wounded another during another operation targeting a known al Qaeda safe house. U.S. soldiers with the 2nd Infantry Division's 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team detained eight suspected al Qaeda members at the safe house. "In conjunction with the Iraqi security forces, we have made remarkable gains against terrorists in Diyala," Army spokesman Maj. Mike Katona said. "While al Qaeda in Iraq is still capable of isolated spectacular attacks, they are definitely feeling the pressure here in Diyala, as evidenced by the 70 percent reduction in attacks in the province since June 2007."
-- Iraqi commando and police forces and coalition forces detained one individual and discovered a large weapons cache while conducting patrols in Hillah's Hamza and Hashimiyah areas March 22. The detained individual is linked to the planting of roadside bombs along routes used by Iraqi and coalition security forces. The cache contained multiple rockets, mines, hundreds of rocket-propelled-grenade rounds, mortar rounds, hand grenades and other materials, including 22 122 mm rockets with 50 complete rail systems, 200 pounds of explosives, 15 120 mm mortar rounds, 20 rocket rounds and three rocket-grenade launchers.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)