American Forces Press Service
May 16, 2008 - Coalition forces killed one terrorist and detained 19 suspects during a series of operations targeting al-Qaida in Iraq operatives in central and northern Iraq today, military officials said.
-- Coalition forces killed one insurgent and captured another during an anti-al Qaida operation near Khan Bani Saad, about 20 miles north of Baghdad.
-- In Baghdad, coalition forces detained one suspected terrorist.
-- In Mosul, coalition forces captured an alleged al-Qaida in Iraq financier and seven other suspects.
-- In Tikrit, coalition forces detained four suspected terrorists.
-- Near Balad, coalition forces detained five suspected terrorists during operations to disrupt al-Qaida in Iraq's foreign-terrorist facilitation network.
"We continue to target al-Qaida in Iraq's terrorists who bring nothing but misery to the Iraqi people," said Army Maj. John C. Hall, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.
In yesterday's operations:
-- U.S. soldiers detained a suspected terrorist during an operation in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad. The detainee is a suspected Iranian-trained "special groups" member wanted for complicity in several murders, bomb attacks, and weapons trafficking. "The soldiers of 1st [Brigade Combat Team] 'Raider Brigade' remain steadfast in their efforts to bring these dangerous criminals to justice," said Army Maj. Dave Olson, a 4th Infantry Division spokesman. "The Iraqi security forces and coalition forces strive to provide a stable, secure environment for the Rashid district and its citizens."
-- Iraqi soldiers captured a mid-level special groups leader in Husayniyah. The detainee is believed to have coordinated recent bomb, rocket and small-arms attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces. Three additional suspects also were detained. "The capture of this cell leader will likely affect the ability of special groups criminals in Husayniyah to conduct attacks against Iraqi security and coalition forces," said Army Col. Bill Buckner, a Multinational Corps Iraq spokesman. "This will prevent special groups leadership from exploiting the city as a safe haven."
-- U.S. soldiers killed one insurgent and wounded another during a firefight in eastern Baghdad. The U.S. patrol had been struck by an explosive that damaged a vehicle. Soon afterward, enemy fighters engaged the U.S. soldiers with small-arms fire. The soldiers returned fire and killed one enemy fighter and wounded another. No soldiers were injured in the attack.
-- U.S. soldiers killed six insurgents during three engagements in the Shula sector in northwestern Baghdad. The soldiers killed three insurgents during two separate firefights; three other insurgents were dispatched by a Hellfire missile. "Our soldiers are trained professionals and will defend themselves with appropriate force," said Army Col. Allen Batschelet, chief of staff of Multinational Division Baghdad and 4th Infantry Division.
-- Iraqi commandos captured an al-Qaida-affiliated terrorist during an operation in western Mosul. The detainee is connected to the placement of explosives in the area. Six other suspects also were detained. "Iraqi special operations forces, partnered with coalition forces, will continue to pursue terrorists who threaten innocent Iraqi citizens," Buckner said.
In May 14 operations:
-- Fourteen Iraqi civilians were killed and eight were wounded when an al-Qaida in Iraq member detonated a suicide vest at a funeral near Abu Ghraib. U.S. and Iraqi forces provided security and rendered assistance. The wounded were taken to the Fallujah and Abu Ghraib hospitals for treatment. "This is an attack by terrorists who place no value on human life and intentionally attack and kill innocent Iraqis," said Army Lt. Col. David Davidson, 25th Infantry Division. "As friends and family gathered to grieve for the loss of the headmaster of the technical school, whose job was to educate and bring a brighter future to Abu Ghraib and the nation of Iraq, these criminals chose to carry out this cowardly act."
-- U.S. soldiers found a weapons cache containing 9 mm pistols, pistol magazines, detonators, and a spool of command wire, cell phones, false identification cards, and a couple undeveloped rolls of film inside an apartment building in southern Baghdad. Five suspects were detained during the operation.
-- Iraqi and U.S. soldiers found a buried weapons cache in Abu Osage, about 30 kilometers southwest of Baghdad, after following up on a tip from a local resident. The cache contained: nine mortar rounds, three 57 mm anti-aircraft rounds, six boxes of small arms rounds, two boxes of 25 mm mortar rounds, one box of 60 mm mortar fuses, and one 120 mm mortar tube with tripod. The munitions were taken to an Iraqi army base for disposal.
In May 13 operations:
-- Special groups terrorists fired an 82 mm mortar at a coalition base that missed and landed near a market in the Karadah district of Baghdad. The market burned down about 30 minutes later. Coalition investigators are checking out an Iraqi police report attributing the cause of the fire to faulty generator wiring. "These special groups criminals are indiscriminately endangering the lives of innocent Iraqi civilians. This is typical of the cowards who target Iraqi citizens and show no concern for Iraq and its future," said Army Maj. Joey Sullinger, a 10th Mountain Division spokesman. "Our hearts go out to our Iraqi neighbors who lost their livelihoods in the market fire."
-- Troops on a joint Iraqi-U.S. reconnaissance mission assisted by a Sons of Iraq detachment discovered six separate weapons caches in Maderiyah. The first cache contained: one 120 mm mortar round, one 100 mm anti-aircraft round, 12 rocket-propelled-grenade warheads, eight 73 mm rockets, and a mortar tripod. The second cache contained: 300 anti-personnel grenades, 100 meters of detonation cord, 100 rounds of PKC machine-gun ammunition, and five sticks of dynamite. A third cache contained 10 empty 155 mm illumination canisters. Although empty, the canisters could have been used to construct improvised explosive devices, officials said. The final three caches in total contained: one 23 mm antiaircraft gun with a tripod, 200 23 mm rounds, an SS-30 M3 127 mm rocket, and three 120 mm mortars, all of which were serviceable.
-- "Most of the 300 anti-personnel grenades were serviceable," said Army Capt. Richard Aaron, a commander with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. "Because they were found with detonation cord, these most likely would have been used to booby trap homes or areas where al-Qaida in Iraq expected U.S. or (Iraqi army) soldiers to search."
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)