American Forces Press Service
April 4, 2008 - Coalition forces in Iraq today killed two terrorists and detained 16 suspected extremists during operations targeting al Qaeda senior leaders and bomb networks, military officials reported.
-- West of Samarra, coalition forces targeted an individual linked to a senior al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist. The wanted individual attempted to breach a security perimeter and was wounded by coalition small-arms fire. The individual later died of his wounds. Seven suspected terrorists were detained in the operation.
-- In Sharqat, coalition forces killed one suspected terrorist and detained three other suspects. Coalition forces detained two more suspects during a second operation conducted further south.
-- In Habbaniyah, coalition forces detained three suspected terrorists linked to a car-bombing network north of Baghdad. One suspect was injured during the operation, but he was treated and transported to a military medical facility.
-- In Mosul, coalition forces detained a suspect who is linked to senior al Qaeda in Iraq leaders in the area.
"Al Qaeda in Iraq is an extremist organization whose support is dwindling as more and more people turn their backs on the terrorists' indiscriminate violence and corrupt, Taliban-like ideology," said Navy Lt. David Russell, Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "Iraqi and coalition forces will continue to dismantle the terrorist networks, increasing security and public safety for all Iraqis."
During operations yesterday:
-- East of Mahmudiyah, coalition forces killed three terrorists, including an alleged suicide bomber, during operations targeting a Baghdad region car-bombing network. Three men in the vehicle were killed, including the alleged suicide bomber.
-- In Mosul, coalition forces detained one suspected terrorist.
-- Northwest of Sinjar, coalition forces captured a suspected foreign terrorist facilitator who is linked to al Qaeda in Iraq senior leaders. During another raid conducted west of Baghdad, coalition forces captured two more alleged al Qaeda operatives.
"While Iraqi and coalition forces are taking apart al Qaeda in Iraq networks, capturing or killing their members, al Qaeda remains the biggest threat to security and stability in Iraq and there is still much work to be done," said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.
In Basra, Iraqi security forces advised by U.S. Special Forces soldiers killed seven criminal and detained 18 suspects during a series of counterinsurgency operations:
-- Iraqi special operations forces in Basra killed five armed fighters and detained 10 individuals during the first operation. Among the detainees is a suspected Iranian-backed "special groups" leader who is linked to inciting attacks on coalition forces in Basra. Reports also link the detainee to kidnappings and murders of Iraqi soldiers and commandos. The detainee also is tied to local oil smuggling operations and foreign fighter networks.
-- An Iraqi commando team from Hillah killed two insurgents and detained three suspects during a separate counterinsurgency operation conducted in Basra.
-- During another Basra operation, an Iraqi emergency response team captured two suspected criminal linked to a recent ambush attempt against U.S. Special Forces soldiers. Three other suspects also are being held for questioning.
In April 2 operations:
-- U.S. soldiers seized a weapons cache while conducting a patrol in southern Baghdad. The cache contained rocket-propelled-grenade warheads, 81 mm mortar rounds, 60 mm mortar rounds, dozens of hand grenades and hundreds of 7.62 mm rounds.
-- Iraqi security forces advised by U.S. Special Forces soldiers detained one suspected criminal leader and seized a weapons cache site in separate operations in northwest and southern Iraq.
-- In Qaim, northwest of Baghdad near the Syrian border, Iraqi commandos detained a suspected criminal leader linked to roadside bombings, other attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces, and kidnappings. Three other suspects also are being held for questioning.
-- In another operation in the Dur an Naft district of Basra in southern Iraq, an Iraqi emergency response unit found a cache containing materials used to make roadside bombs. The cache contained an 82 mm mortar round, a 12-inch armor-piercing explosively formed projectile, seven rocket-propelled grenades, three rocket-propelled-grenade launchers, and hundreds of rounds of AK-47 rifle ammunition. The cache was destroyed.
-- Coalition aircraft destroyed an enemy vehicle bearing a heavy machine gun during an air strike in Halaf. Six armed criminals riding in the vehicle were killed.
"Coalition forces are providing aircraft support for Iraqi security forces in Basra on an as-requested basis," said Navy Lt. Michael Street, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "We will continue to work with the government of Iraq to provide a secure and stable environment in Iraq."
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)