American Forces Press Service
April 24, 2008 - Coalition forces killed four Iranian-trained "special groups" criminals and detained five other suspected criminals today in Rashidiyah, Iraq, north of Baghdad. Intelligence sources led the forces to the location of a criminal suspected of receiving weapons and finances from Iran. He also is suspected of directing and conducting kidnappings and sectarian violence against Iraqi citizens.
Despite receiving sporadic small-arms fire attacks, coalition forces apprehended the suspected criminal and three other suspects. As the forces approached a second location to apprehend another suspected criminal, they came under small-arms fire from both sides of the road and returned fire, killing one criminal.
After arriving at the targeted individual's location, the forces again came under small-arms fire from three criminals atop a local residence. Coalition forces followed the three individuals to a home in the neighborhood then came under attack from the criminals inside the house. They engaged the hostile threat, killing the three criminals. The engagement ignited a fire in the house, but coalition forces were able to evacuate residents from the building unharmed.
"Coalition forces will continue to seek out these criminal elements supported by Iran who threaten the security of Iraqi citizens and who undermine the sovereignty of Iraq," said Navy Cmdr. Scott Rye, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.
Elsewhere, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers killed three criminals in separate engagements in Baghdad yesterday and today.
-- At about 7:30 a.m. today, an aerial weapons team observed a criminal with a heavy machine gun firing on Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers in northeastern Baghdad. The aerial weapons team fired one Hellfire missile, ending the attack. The heavy machine gun was destroyed, but no casualties were reported.
-- At about 11:30 p.m., two criminals were observed emplacing an improvised-explosive device in northeastern Baghdad. After fleeing the scene, an aerial weapons team engaged the criminals in a building with two Hellfire missiles, killing both.
-- At about 10:50 p.m. yesterday, an aerial weapons team observed a criminal emplacing an improvised-explosive device. The IED was targeting a coalition forces patrol in northeastern Baghdad. The aerial weapons team engaged the criminal with a Hellfire missile, killing him.
In other operations yesterday, coalition forces killed three al-Qaida in Iraq terrorists and detained 14 suspects during operations targeting terrorist networks in the central and northern parts of the country Wednesday.
-- West of Biaj, coalition forces captured an alleged foreign-terrorist facilitator and three additional suspects. While rounding up the detainees, one terrorist attempted to escape. After the terrorist refused commands to halt, coalition forces engaged, killing him.
-- Coalition forces targeted an alleged leader of an al-Qaida in Iraq propaganda cell during an operation in Mosul. As coalition forces arrived at the target area, two individuals attempted to seize their weapons from them. Coalition forces responded in self-defense, engaging and killing the two men, officials said.
-- Coalition forces captured a suspected senior al-Qaida in Iraq leader in Mosul during a precision operation. Intelligence reports also indicate he is involved in kidnapping and suicide-bombing operations.
-- West of Baghdad, coalition forces conducted two operations targeting operatives in the area's bombing network. Six suspected terrorists were detained, and four are believed to be part of a bombing cell that attacks coalition forces.
"Iraqi citizens reject the criminal activity of al-Qaeda in Iraq's members," Rye said. "Terrorists cling to violence, while the people of Iraq have chosen a path of peace."
Coalition forces killed one terrorist and detained five suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorists today during operations to disrupt al-Qaeda in Iraq networks operating north of Mosul.
Information from an operation April 12 led Coalition forces to a location where they secured a building and detained three suspected terrorists. Acting on additional intelligence, Coalition forces proceeded to a second location. While securing the building, two individuals displayed hostile intent toward Coalition forces, who fired in self-defense, wounding both men. One suspect was taken to a military medical facility, and the other wounded suspect was treated on site and detained.
Coalition forces followed a suspected terrorist in a vehicle to an area northwest of Samarra. When the driver would not follow signals to stop, including warning shots, Coalition forces fired into the vehicle. The vehicle stopped, and secondary explosions erupted from inside, indicating weapons, ammunition or explosives inside the vehicle. The terrorist in the vehicle was killed.
"We continue to target terrorists in Mosul and throughout Iraq to disrupt their networks and degrade their ability to attack innocent Iraqis," said Cmdr. Scott Rye, MNF-I spokesman.
Also yesterday, Multinational Force West soldiers pursuing two suspected enemy vehicles engaged insurgents north of Lake Thar Thar. Insurgents engaged the soldiers with small-arms fire and grenades. The brief chase ended as the lead enemy vehicle stopped. The enemy continued their attack as the second vehicle sped away. The soldiers returned fire, killing six insurgents and destroying their truck.
(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq and Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)