American Forces Press Service
May 20, 2008 - Coalition and Iraqi forces killed one terrorist, captured 26 suspects and nabbed scores of weapons across Iraq over the past three days, military officials said.
In Iraq today:
-- Coalition forces killed a senior al-Qaida in Iraq leader and detained four of his suspected associates in an operation east of Samarra, about 65 miles north of Baghdad.
-- Troops in Baqouba and Tikrit captured a wanted man and five additional suspected terrorists who allegedly operate in the Tigris River valley during coordinated two-day operations that wrapped up today.
-- Coalition troops caught two wanted men and two other suspects during operations in Mosul targeting al-Qaida in Iraq cell leaders. One wanted man allegedly planned bombing attacks against coalition forces; the other is believed to coordinate car bombings.
-- Using information gleaned in a prior operation, troops in Rabiyah captured two wanted men and one additional suspect. The wanted men are believed to be part of a foreign terrorist smuggling ring in northwestern Iraq.
-- Forces targeted an al-Qaida in Iraq leader in Baghdad and detained three suspected terrorists during raids in the Iraqi capital.
-- Iraqi security forces launched Operation Peace in an effort to cease violence in the Sadr City area of Baghdad. The operation aims to protect the people while setting conditions for sustainable security, increased humanitarian assistance, economic growth and essential services, military officials said.
-- Insurgents killed 11 Iraqi recruits as they traveled in a bus en route to join the ranks of their national security forces.
U.S. special operations forces yesterday detained a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq cell leader in Rutbah, about 240 miles west of Baghdad.
The presumed leader allegedly is responsible for helping to smuggle insurgents and foreign fighters. Military officials also linked the detainee to an insurgent network involved in smuggling and storing weapons and explosives.
Coalition and Iraqi forces seized weapons in the following operations yesterday:
-- Iraqi national police officers and their partnered coalition transition team uncovered a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher and rounds, three grenades, and other ammunition in the New Baghdad security district of eastern Baghdad.
-- Combined troops in the Multinational Division North area of operations found more than 10 caches that contained, in total, about 200 pounds of TNT, several hundred rounds of various ammunition, explosive missiles, rocket-propelled-grenade warheads, automatic rifles, and nearly 30 anti-aircraft projectiles.
-- Iraqi national police in the New Baghdad district of the Iraqi capital discovered more than a dozen bomb triggers, more than a dozen AK-47 assault rifles, rocket-propelled-grenade launchers and rounds, more than 100 machine gun rounds, sniper rifles, a flak vest, and more than 25 batteries.
-- With the aid of the local "Sons of Iraq" citizen security group, coalition forces seized three weapons caches in Baghdad. In total, the stockpiles included eight homemade explosives, Iranian- and Chinese-made rockets, and dozens of other weapons, mortars and rounds of various shapes and sizes.
Soldiers from 4th Brigade, 1st Iraqi National Police Division, caught an Iranian-backed "special groups" leader and four members of a homemade-bombing cell May 18 in the New Baghdad district. The special groups leader tested positive for handling explosive materials, military officials said.
"This was a 100 percent national police planned and executed operation," Army Maj. Joey Sullinger, a spokesman for 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, said, adding that the successful operation attests to the police members' commitment and capability.
Elsewhere in Iraq on May 18, a local Iraqi citizen led Iraqi army soldiers to a weapons cache in the Sharifat area, about 12 miles south of Baghdad.
Soldiers with 25th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, uncovered the cache, which contained nearly about 75 mortar rounds, two rockets and more than 80 mortar primers and fuses. Military officials said explosive ordnance disposal personnel with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, are examining the cache.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)