Coalition Forces Killed Terrorist Capture 61 Others

Coalition forces killed one terrorist and captured 61 others during various raids and operations throughout Iraq over the past three days.

Today, during operations targeting al Qaeda in Iraq and foreign fighter facilitators, combined forces captured a suspected foreign terrorist facilitation network leader and one of his associates west of Abu Ghraib, officials said.

Elsewhere today, combined forces captured four suspects northwest of Karmah and three suspects in Fallujah. The seven suspects had alleged ties to al Qaeda in Iraq and foreign-fighter facilitation.

Northeast of Asad, coalition forces detained three suspects who allegedly operate an al Qaeda associated foreign fighter training camp, and coalition forces captured three suspected al Qaeda members operating west of Taji.

"Coalition forces are working diligently to eliminate al Qaeda and foreign facilitation networks in Iraq," said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.

In other developments, six Iraqi army soldiers were killed when they stopped a car bomb from entering Sadr City yesterday, officials said. The vehicle was attempting to maneuver through an Iraqi checkpoint just south of the Sadr City security district when troops from 1st Battalion 1st Brigade, 9th Iraqi Army, stopped it at the checkpoint. After stopping, the explosives in the vehicle were detonated. In addition to killing six soldiers, approximately 20 civilians were injured by the blast, officials said.

Also in Sadr City, special Iraqi army forces with coalition advisors detained six suspected terrorists believed to be associated with the Jaysh al-Mahdi militia. The Iraqi-led operation was targeting a rogue element believed to be responsible for numerous kidnappings and murders of Iraqi civilians, officials said. It is also implicated in conducing IED attacks targeting coalition and Iraqi security forces in the area.

Elsewhere yesterday, a terrorist was killed after he began firing on coalition ground forces operating near Taji. Eighteen other suspected terrorists were captured during the operation, including an alleged member of the al Qaeda-associated terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq.

During air assault operations yesterday, special Iraqi security forces and coalition advisors captured three suspected members of an improvised-explosive-device cell in Tarmiyah, north of Baghdad. The suspects are implicated in detonating a car bomb near a water factory in Tarmiyah and for targeting an Iraqi police station two weeks ago. Officials also believe the suspects are involved in placing IEDs targeting coalition and Iraqi security forces in the area, officials said. There was minimal damage to the objective and no civilian or coalition casualties.

Meanwhile, coalition forces conducted several raids in Mosul. One raid targeted terrorists believed to have been involved in the distribution of weapons during a January attack on an Iraqi police station. Three terrorists were captured during the raid. Another raid in Mosul netted two terrorists believed to have direct involvement in the facilitation of foreign fighters into Iraq.

Coalition forces also conducted a raid in Ramadi yesterday, detaining one terrorist with alleged foreign fighter ties, officials said.

"Coalition forces continue to systematically disrupt al Qaeda in Iraq operations, restrict the flow of foreign fighters and reduce the terrorist organization's manpower pool,"
Garver said.

South of Baghdad a day earlier, 5th Battalion 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, soldiers with support from 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, paratroopers conducted a targeted operation that resulted in the capture of 10 detainees and a weapons cache near Arab Jabour, officials said. The cache consisted of six AK-47s, 13 AK-47 ammunition magazines, one rifle, one ammunition bandolier, 13 cellular phones, 39 7.62 mm ammunition rounds and several pieces of anti-coalition propaganda. The raid was the third in a month with Iraqi army forces taking the lead with support from coalition forces, officials said.

Also on March 9, coalition forces conducted a raid in Mosul and detained three terrorists suspected of foreign-fighter facilitation and possible involvement in a recent prison break.

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