BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition forces killed five terrorists and detained 14 suspects during operations targeting al-Qaeda in central and northern Iraq Dec. 28, 2007.
During an operation north of Muqdadiyah, Coalition forces targeted associates of the al-Qaeda in Iraq network operating in the northeast region of the Diyala River Valley. Reports indicate the individuals are associated with the group of terrorists involved in numerous engagements with Coalition forces during recent operations in the region.
When the ground force arrived in the target area, the occupants were requested to come out of the building. Four armed men fled the building and maneuvered into nearby palm groves. Supporting aircraft were called to engage the armed men, killing four terrorists. Once Coalition forces cleared the area, they found that each of the men had been armed with a machine gun, military style assault vest and multiple grenades. One building and all of the weapons, to include several others found in one of the target buildings, were safely destroyed on site to prevent further use by terrorists. Six additional suspected terrorists were detained during the operation.
Near Salman Pak, Coalition forces targeted an alleged al-Qaeda in Iraq cell leader involved in weapons facilitation and attacks on Coalition and Iraqi forces in the Arab Jabour region. As the ground force began to clear the area, they observed an individual maneuvering away from the target building and into a nearby reed bed, attempting to evade capture. Coalition forces followed the man to another target area, and as forces entered the building, the suspect made a sudden move toward something. Perceiving hostile intent, the ground force engaged the man, killing him. As Coalition forces cleared the room, a weapon was located, and one suspect was detained.
During coordinated operations near Samarra and Baghdad, Coalition forces detained seven suspected terrorists while targeting alleged al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders involved in foreign terrorist facilitation and attacks against Coalition forces.
"These operations are examples of our continued success against al-Qaeda," said Maj. Winfield Danielson, MNF-I spokesman. "Iraqi and Coalition forces are disrupting their operations and diminishing their pool of manpower, but they still pose a threat to innocent Iraqis."For more information, contact the MNF-I press desk at MNFIPressdesk@iraq.centcom.mil