Tuesday, August 21, 2007

MNF-Iraq - Coalition forces kill three, detain others in raids on al-Qaeda in Iraq

Multi-National Force - Iraq - Coalition forces kill three, detain others in raids on al-Qaeda in Iraq

BAGHDAD — Coalition forces here over the past two days killed three terrorists and detained 28 suspects while putting pressure on terrorists facilitating the movement of al-Qaeda senior leaders.

South of Bayji, local Iraqis alerted ground forces to several suspected terrorists tied to the individual targeted in a Coalition operation. The ground forces captured the targeted individual and detained five more suspects believed to work for a local al-Qaeda leader. Coalition forces also found a cache of weapons and military-style assault vests with the suspects.

"We're on the offensive against al-Qaeda in Iraq and the foreign terrorists that help them," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a Multi-National Force-Iraq spokesman. "We will continue to hunt down terrorist leaders and those who take part in the planning and execution of their vicious attacks against innocent Iraqis."

In a pre-dawn raid north of Baghdad, Coalition forces captured a weapons distributor and “special groups” leader responsible for the storage and distribution of Iranian weapons. The suspected weapons facilitator has traveled to and from Iran numerous times and is responsible for smuggling and distributing explosively-formed penetrators to groups operating throughout the Baghdad area, U.S. officials said. He is also believed to have had ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force.

"Coalition troops continue to kill and capture terrorists who bring Iranian weapons, especially EFPs, into Iraq," said Garver. "We will continue to pursue these networks that provide these weapons to those who intend to kill Coalition forces, Iraqi Security Forces and innocent Iraqis."