American Forces Press Service
May 2, 2008 - Coalition and Iraqi forces killed at least three enemy fighters, captured 55 suspects, and seized weapons in Iraq over the past three days, military officials said.
In Iraq today:
-- Coalition troops detained four suspected terrorists during raids in Mosul targeting members of the local al-Qaida in Iraq network responsible for attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces.
-- Using information gleaned in previous operations, coalition forces detained four suspected terrorists in a separate raid in Mosul.
-- Iraqi and coalition forces captured two wanted men and two additional suspects 15 miles northwest of Baghdad. One of the wanted men is believed to be a leader in the al-Qaida in Iraq bombing network in the northern belt surrounding the Iraqi capital, while the other allegedly operates a bombing cell.
-- Coalition forces detained four suspected terrorists during an operation targeting al-Qaida in Iraq senior leaders and their associates about 60 miles northeast of Baghdad.
-- Combined forces in Mosul captured an alleged member of an al-Qaida in Iraq cell that targets security forces with indirect-fire attacks. Coalition forces detained an additional suspect and discovered a cache of weapons near a house.
-- In a three-day operation that culminated today, coalition forces seized al-Qaida in Iraq computers and information storage devices and destroyed three weapons caches near Samarra.
During operations in Iraq yesterday:
-- As they prepared to stop a vehicle south of Mosul, coalition forces received small-arms fire from another vehicle. Responding to the hostile threat, troops engaged the vehicle, killing three attackers and destroying weapons and ammunition inside. Despite coalition forces' warnings to stop, the driver of the target vehicle refused to comply. Forces engaged the vehicle, killing the driver. They later found heavy machine guns and other weapons within the vehicle.
-- Iraqi army and coalition soldiers detained 32 suspected terrorists in a joint operation in Mosul. The cordon and search took place in the city's Zanjali and Borsa neighborhoods.
-- After witnessing a car bombing that killed a coalition soldier in Baghdad, Iraqi citizens apprehended an enemy fighter involved in the attack and turned the individual over to the Iraqi National Police. Citizens arrested and transferred two others to Iraqi police. All three suspects later tested positive for contact with explosives.
-- Coalition forces detained a wanted man in Iskandariyah, 60 miles south of Baghdad. The man is an alleged al-Qaida in Iraq leader in the Arab Jabour area and is believed to conspire directly with the terrorist network's senior leaders.
-- Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division's 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, seized two Dragonov sniper rifles, a deadly homemade bomb, and an MP-5 machine gun from the back of a vehicle in southern Baghdad.
-- Soldiers with the 25th Infantry Division's 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, discovered a weapons cache hidden in a field west of Baghdad. The cache contained two 122 mm mortar rounds, 120 rocket boosters, 544 anti-tank rounds, seven Russian-made rockets of various sizes, ammunition and bomb-making materials.
-- While conducting a combat patrol, soldiers from Company A, 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, attached to the 4th Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team, were approached by a local citizen who led them to a weapons cache. The cache contained three rocket-propelled grenades and a launcher.
-- A local citizen approached the joint security station in Karb De Gla to turn in a 60 mm mortar round he found. In addition, Iraqi National Police, working in the Abu Tshir community, reported finding a hand grenade.
-- Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers and Iraqi police discovered three caches in an abandoned building in southern Baghdad's Rashid district. The caches contained 10 deadly makeshift bombs and 100 pounds of homemade explosives, dozens of mortar and artillery rounds, 47 rocket-propelled grenades, rockets and other ammunition.
In the Sadr City section of Baghdad yesterday:
-- Enemy fighters used small-arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades and sniper fire to attack soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division's 4th Battalion, 64th Armored Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, around 11:30 a.m. as troops attempted to emplace barriers. An air weapons team providing overwatch for the operation engaged the attackers with a Hellfire missile, killing one and causing the rest to flee.
-- As the soldiers continued their barrier-emplacement operation, they saw a suspect in a building with a weapon around 1:45 p.m. An M1A2 Abrams tank crew providing security for the operation fired a 120 mm round and killed the would-be attacker.
-- About an hour later, soldiers with 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment came under attack by assailants using small arms and rocket-propelled grenades from a nearby building. An air weapons team fired two Hellfire missiles, and fixed-wing aircraft dropped two precision-guided munitions and destroyed the building, which ended the enemy attacks.
-- Soldiers from 1-68th Combined Arms Battalion were attacked at 5:40 p.m. by enemies using small arms from a building while the soldiers were engaged in a barrier-replacement operation. An air weapons team fired two Hellfire missiles, destroying the building and ending the enemy's attack.
In other news from Iraq, Iraqi special operations forces advised by U.S. Special Forces soldiers captured an Iranian-backed "special groups" commander in Baghdad April 30.
The man is believed to be a weapons smuggler and has reportedly launched attacks with homemade bombs and indirect fire. Intelligence reports link him to a bombing attack in October that killed four U.S. soldiers and a mortar attack that month that killed another, officials said.
During the operation, the Iraqi forces received small-arms fire from enemy fighters and saw two armed men running toward them. The Iraqi troops retaliated and killed them both.
"The detention of this suspect will likely affect the ability of special groups criminals to conduct attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces in the area and will possibly lead to the detention of additional criminals in the area," said Army Col. Bill Buckner, a Multinational Corps Iraq spokesman.
Elsewhere in Iraq on April 30, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers, acting on tips from local citizens in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad, seized additional weapons and munitions.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)