By American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON - Coalition forces killed 15 terrorists and detained 17 suspects during operations today targeting al-Qaida in Iraq elements in Baghdad and in central and northern parts of the country. They also killed or captured dozens of others in other recent operations, military officials reported.
-- Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldiers engaged and killed 13 terrorists in separate engagements in Baghdad. At about 4 a.m., terrorists using small-arms fire attacked soldiers from 237th Engineer Battalion in eastern Baghdad. An air weapons team responded, engaged the enemy forces and killed four terrorists.
-- Three hours later, soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team positively identified men in a vehicle armed with rocket-propelled grenades in Adhamiyah, a district in northeast Baghdad. An air weapons team identified the vehicle and destroyed it, killing two terrorists.
-- At about 10 a.m., an M1126 Stryker vehicle of the 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team struck an improvised explosive device in northeastern Baghdad. Soldiers observed the terrorist's spotter and killed him in an exchange of fire. No Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldiers were injured in the attack.
-- In northwestern Baghdad's Kadamiyah District at about 10:30 a.m., a terrorist attacked Iraqi and coalition forces with small-arms fire. Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team returned fire and killed the attacker. One Soldier suffered minor wounds in the attack.
-- Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team killed five terrorists after an attack on their patrol by a rocket propelled grenade at about noon in New Baghdad, a district in eastern Baghdad. "Along with our Iraqi security forces partners, we are targeting individual terrorists, extremists, criminal networks and anyone involved in violent crimes against the Iraqi people," said Army Col. Allen Batschelet, Multi-National Division - Baghdad chief of staff. "We will continue to conduct precision operations based on substantial evidence of terrorist or criminal activity."
-- Using intelligence gained from a, March 18, operation, coalition forces targeted an al-Qaida in Iraq financial manager in Tuz Khurmatu. One man at the target building refused to comply with the ground forces' instructions and surrender. Coalition forces engaged the man, killing him. In the same area, an armed man barricaded himself in a building and engaged the ground force with small-arms fire. Coalition forces returned fire, killing the armed terrorist. Six suspects were detained during the operation.
-- In a related operation in Tuz Khurmatu, Iraqi and coalition forces caught a suspected leader of a suicide-bombing cell. The individual allegedly was planning attacks on "Sons of Iraq" groups of concerned citizens aiding the security effort near Baqouba.
-- In Baghdad, coalition forces conducted two precision operations, capturing a suspected car bomber and an individual allegedly tied to al-Qaida in Iraq senior leaders.
-- Coalition forces north of Beiji captured a suspected terrorist who allegedly coordinates and conducts bombing attacks. Intelligence reports indicate he and his associates are responsible for attacks in the Beiji and Sharqat areas.
-- In Mosul, coalition forces continued to target associates of al-Qaida in Iraq senior leaders, detaining seven suspected terrorists during coordinated operations in the city.
"Al-Qaida in Iraq's indiscriminate violence is turning away even its most sympathetic former supporters," said Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, Multi-National Force - Iraq spokesman. "With the help of local citizens, Iraqi and coalition forces will continue to locate and dismantle the terrorist networks through operations like these, improving security for all Iraqis."
In Iraq operations yesterday:
-- A coalition air strike killed seven terrorists after intelligence confirmed the location of a targeted individual reported to be the al-Qaida in Iraq leader of a local village operating in a remote area of the Hamrin Mountains southwest of Tuz. The targeted individual and six other armed men were observed conducting suspicious activities in the area.
-- Coalition forces killed one terrorist and detained 10 other suspects west of Samarra. The ground force was led to a building by intelligence reports and requested that occupants exit the building. Two men exited the building, but refused to follow coalition forces' instructions and demonstrated hostile intent. Coalition forces engaged one man, killing him. The other man then complied and was detained with nine additional suspected terrorists.
-- Two operations in the Mosul area targeted associates of al-Qaida in Iraq leaders. A precision operation in the city yielded the capture of a suspected terrorist believed to be associated with al-Qaida in Iraq senior leaders in the area. Southwest of Mosul, coalition forces detained six suspected terrorists during an operation targeting associates of al-Qaida in Iraq senior leaders.
-- Soldiers from 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, killed five terrorists and wounded an additional five after being attacked by small-arms fire while patrolling in Adhamiyah. The wounded were treated and detained by Iraqi national police.
-- Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, killed two terrorists after receiving indirect fire, small-arms fire and rocket propelled grenade fire at a combat outpost in New Baghdad.
-- Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, came under a small-arms fire attack while patrolling north of Baghdad. One terrorist was killed in the engagement.
-- Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, killed three terrorists in New Baghdad. The ground force was conducting a dismounted patrol when they saw the suspects, who were armed with illegal weapons. Perceiving hostile intent, the soldiers engaged the men, killing three.
-- Soldiers from 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, were attacked with small-arms fire by two terrorists while patrolling on the outskirts of Sadr City. An air weapons team in a rotary wing aircraft conducting surveillance positively identified the terrorists and killed them.
-- In Kadhamiyah, soldiers from 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, were attacked while manning a checkpoint in the area. An air weapons team in a helicopter was called in to assist the ground force. The team fired one Hellfire missile, killing three terrorists. Thirty minutes later, the checkpoint came under a second, heavier attack by terrorists. The air weapons team engaged with 30 mm rounds, killing an additional 10 terrorists.
-- Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, were patrolling in Adhamiyah when one of their vehicles was struck by a rocket propelled grenade. Five minutes later, the patrol was attacked by small-arms fire. The soldiers returned the attack with precision fire and killed one terrorist. One U.S. Soldier received a minor wound, but continued the mission.
-- Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, killed two terrorists who engaged them with small-arms fire in Mansour.
-- A team from 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, engaged and killed a terrorist who was controlling indirect fire on the northern edge of Sadr City.
-- In New Baghdad, a vehicle from 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, was struck by an improvised explosive device at 5:20 p.m. The patrol positively identified the trigger man and engaged and killed the terrorist.
-- In Kadamiyah, soldiers from 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, reported a terrorist who fired an RPG at a building and set it on fire. As the soldiers moved in to investigate, terrorists fired an additional RPG round and small-arms fire at the patrol. Soldiers returned fire and killed three terrorists.
-- Iraqi security forces and Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldiers killed eight militants after they were attacked at an Iraqi army checkpoint with RPGs and small-arms fire in northern Baghdad. A Multi-National Division - Baghdad aerial weapons team provided air support and engaged the terrorists, killing eight. One Iraqi army soldier was killed during the attack, and seven others were wounded. The wounded soldiers were treated at the scene and were evacuated to a local hospital.
-- Acting on a tip from a local Iraqi, Multi-National Division - North Soldiers and Iraqi policemen discovered 37 bodies buried in a mass grave north of Muqdadiyah. All the bodies were badly decomposed and appear to have been there anywhere from two to eight months. Some of the bodies showed signs of torture. The bodies will be moved to a nearby cemetery.
In Iraq operations, March 26:
-- Iraqi security forces and Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldiers killed 24 terrorists in Baghdad during a series of precision, intelligence-based operations. These terrorists and militant elements were increasing their attacks against civilians, the government of Iraq, and Iraqi and U.S. security forces.
-- Hillah's Iraqi special weapons and tactics unit advised by U.S. Special Forces Soldiers engaged Iranian-backed "special groups" criminals in Hillah, killing 14 and wounding 20. Criminals armed with AK-47 assault rifles, RPGs and automatic machine guns attacked two companies of Hillah SWAT as they were securing a road intersection. As a firefight developed, a U.S. Special Forces team arrived and began engaging the armed individuals. The criminal group broke contact and was seen by an air weapons team regrouping in three groups of 20 to 30 men near a mosque. The air weapons team, from 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, engaged the threat from the air. One Hellfire missile was fired, killing five. Nine Hillah SWAT team members were killed during the firefight. Two additional SWAT team members were injured and treated by a U.S. medic.
-- In Kut, an Iraqi special weapons and tactics unit advised by U.S. Special Forces Soldiers conducted a patrol to counter recent violence in the area. The patrol took small-arms and RPG fire in the Old Izza and Karamiyah Districts. Both times, the patrol returned fire, suppressing the enemy fighters. As the patrol left the districts, they linked up with Iraqi police and 8th Division Iraqi army scouts. The group then patrolled the Sharkiyah district, also receiving small-arms fire from a vehicle with four armed individuals. The patrol engaged the vehicle, killing two individuals. After eliminating the threat in the area, the patrol departed for the Kut SWAT headquarters and was attacked by an improvised explosive device. One vehicle was damaged, but the attacks resulted in no injuries. The Kut patrol killed 11 enemy fighters.
On, March 25, Iraqi policemen assigned to 3rd Battalion, 1st National Police Brigade, led Multi-National Division - Center soldiers to two weapons caches near Muntadar, a small village east of Baghdad. Iraqi police, along with soldiers from 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, recovered both weapons caches, which contained more than 50 mortars and an artillery shell.