April 26th, 2008 04:52 EST
al-Qaeda terrorists killed in central Iraq
BAGHDAD – Coalition forces killed eight al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorists and detained 17 suspected terrorists during operations targeting associates of terrorist leaders in central Iraq Saturday.
Coalition forces conducted coordinated operations targeting associates of an individual who acts as a facilitator and liaison for AQI leaders. When Coalition forces arrived in the target area east of Tikrit, they immediately received small arms fire. Responding in self-defense, they returned fire and called for supporting aircraft to engage the hostile threat. Three terrorists were killed in the initial engagement, but Coalition forces continued to receive fire as they secured buildings in the area. Again engaging the hostile threat, they killed two more terrorists.
Inside the buildings, Coalition forces discovered weapons and more than 900 pounds of explosives, which they safely destroyed on site.
During an operation east of Samarra, a terrorist approached Coalition forces and detonated a suicide vest, killing himself. Another terrorist at the location moved to a tactical position and refused to follow the interpreter’s instructions to surrender. Coalition forces, perceiving hostile intent from the terrorist, engaged and killed him. Seven suspected terrorists were detained during the coordinated operations. Coalition forces safely destroyed one building at the target location that was empty except for ten beds and weapons, indicating a likely terrorist safe house.
Coalition forces went to a location northwest of Balad searching for an AQI senior leader. A man in the target building refused to comply with the interpreter’s instructions and moved to a hidden position. When he refused to surrender, Coalition forces perceived hostile intent and engaged the terrorist, killing him.
Farther south, two more operations applied pressure to AQI leadership. Coalition forces detained four suspected terrorists during an operation in Yusufiyah targeting a close associate of an AQI leader in the Southern Belt around Baghdad. West of Baghdad, Coalition forces detained six suspected terrorists while targeting an AQI leader whose group instigates sectarian violence and facilitates attacks against Coalition forces.
The targeting of al-Qaeda in Iraq’s networks along with the Iraqis’ rejection of its barbaric attacks and extreme ideology have weakened the terrorist organization over the past year,” said Col. Donald Bacon, MNF-I spokesman. “Despite this, al-Qaeda in Iraq still has the capacity and will to attack Iraqi citizens and, therefore, Iraqi and Coalition forces will continue to keep the daily pressure on their leadership and organization.”
Source: MULTI-NATIONAL FORCE-IRAQ