WASHINGTON, May 20, 2007 – Coalition forces killed eight terrorists and detained 34 suspected terrorists during two operations today to disrupt the al Qaeda command network, Defense Department officials said.
Northeast of Karmah, coalition forces advanced toward a targeted building, officials said. Six terrorists emerged from a nearby vehicle, armed with automatic weapons and military-style assault vests. Coalition forces, perceiving a hostile threat from an organized force, engaged the six men with an air strike, killing them, officials said.
Coalition forces detained four suspected terrorists within the targeted building for their alleged ties to senior al Qaeda leaders.
Meanwhile, coalition forces approached a target southwest of Baghdad and were blocked by two armed men in tactical positions near the objective. Coalition forces perceived a hostile threat, engaged the two terrorists, and killed them, officials said.
Ground forces proceeded to secure the building and detained 14 people suspected of having ties to al Qaeda. At two other locations southeast of Fallujah, coalition forces detained 16 people with suspected ties to the same network.
“We’re continuing to target the al Qaeda network and the terrorists responsible for attacks on Iraqis and the country’s forward progress,” said Lt. Col. Christopher, Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.
Yesterday, Multinational Division Baghdad forces launched a precision strike against an abandoned building being used by terrorist forces as a safe house and weapons cache site in southern Baghdad, officials said.
The house, in Radwaniyah, was destroyed by aircraft-delivered precision munitions. Coalition and Iraqi forces cordoned off the area to prevent any casualties from occurring as the result of collateral damage, officials said.
In recent weeks, multiple caches of munitions and bomb-making materials have been found on the premises, officials said. In addition, coalition troops had obtained information from local nationals that al Qaeda of Iraq was using the building as a safe house for operatives.
Additionally, a tanker truck that had been rigged as a vehicular bomb was discovered parked outside the house and was disposed of before it could be used against the populace or coalition forces, officials said.
On May 18, troopers from the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment on a mounted patrol engaged three members of an insurgent mortar team near the village of Sab Al Bor.
According to officials, the insurgent mortar team fired a mortar round from the bed of a truck toward a U.S. outpost. The soldiers engaged the enemy mortar men with counter-fire, and three terrorists fled their vehicle. The soldiers pursued the three and later found one of the men dead as a result of wounds received during the engagement.
The other two terrorists were not found. No U.S. soldiers were killed or wounded during the engagement, officials said.
Elsewhere May 18, Iraqi forces along with coalition advisors detained the alleged leader of an al Qaeda affiliate group in Salah Din province. Iraqi forces also detained eight other suspects during the operation.
The troops seized weapons and materials used to make IEDs during the operation, officials said.
No Iraqi or coalition forces were injured during the operation.