BAGHDAD, Iraq (Jan. 23, 2008) – Coalition forces killed 15 terrorists Tuesday and today during operations targeting al-Qaeda networks north of Baqubah.
During an operation Tuesday, Coalition forces conducted an operation targeting an alleged leader for the al-Qaeda in Iraq network operating in the Diyala province. The targeted individual is believed to be an improvised explosive device specialist involved in coordinating IED and suicide-vest attacks in the region. Reports also indicate the targeted individual has ties to several al-Qaeda in Iraq senior leaders.
As Coalition forces arrived in the target area, they observed several individuals reach for their weapons. Coalition forces fired warning shots in an attempt to get the men to cease their actions, but they did not comply. Perceiving hostile intent from the armed men, Coalition forces engaged, killing two terrorists, to include the wanted individual.
Upon clearing the area, the ground force discovered improvised explosive devices and grenades, which were safely destroyed, along with a vehicle in the target area.
Coalition forces returned to the region this morning, targeting another alleged leader of the Diyala network associated with the terrorist killed during operations the previous day.
As Coalition forces arrived in the target area they observed a group of enemy personnel moving into fighting positions. Responding in self-defense, the ground force called supporting aircraft to engage the hostile force, killing 10 terrorists.
Coalition forces continued to clear the area and called for the occupants of the target building to come out, but they did not comply. Several terrorists were then observed maneuvering toward Coalition forces and they engaged the perceived hostile threat, killing three terrorists.
As Coalition forces secured the building, they discovered a cache of weapons to include machine guns, military style assault vests, rocket propelled grenade propellant and various ammunition. Nearby, the ground force discovered additional weapons caches to include rocket propelled grenades, artillery and mortar rounds, improvised IEDs, and suicide-vest materials. All of the weapons were safely destroyed on site.
“Iraqi and Coalition forces are committed to ending the terror of al-Qaeda in Iraq and creating a safer country for all Iraqis,” said Maj. Winfield Danielson, MNF-I spokesman.
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