| WASHINGTON, March 2, 2007 Over the past two days in Iraq, coalition forces killed eight terrorists and found a car bomb and weapons cache, Iraqi forces detained five suspects, and insurgents killed four civilians with mortar fire.
Coalition forces killed eight terrorists yesterday during a raid targeting al Qaeda in Iraq operating in the Salman Pak region. Intelligence reports indicate a significant number of individuals involved with the al Qaeda terrorist network currently operate in the area, officials said. Activities in this area have been linked to a roadside-bomb and car-bomb network. Terrorists in the area are also believed to be involved in smuggling weapons and facilitating foreign fighters.
During the raid, in which coalition forces were repeatedly confronted by small-arms and mortar fire, coalition forces identified three armed terrorists moving toward them with hostile intent. Ground forces engaged the enemy, killing the three terrorists. Twenty minutes later, ground forces were again confronted by eight terrorists, who began firing upon them. Ground forces returned fire, killing four terrorists. The other four fled the area.
Ground forces also saw armed terrorists in a vehicle accessing a weapons cache and removing small arms. Coalition forces engaged, killing one terrorist. Two terrorists were wounded and fled. Coalition forces recovered several sniper rifles, AK-47s and rocket-propelled launchers from one of the engagement sites.
"Successful coalition operations continue to disrupt al-Qaeda in Iraq operations, restricting freedom of movement and reducing the organization's manpower pool," said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.
In Baghdad, special Iraqi army forces with coalition advisors yesterday detained five suspects during operations targeting an improvised explosive device builder. During the operations, coalition forces killed a suspected terrorist after observing him moving between rooftops with an assault rifle, aiming it at Iraqi and coalition forces. Coalition forces and Iraqi army medics rendered immediate aid to the gunman to help stabilize him for movement to a hospital, but he died before being transported.
Elsewhere, insurgents used mortar fire to kill four Iraqi civilians and wound 10 others south of Baghdad yesterday. A building was also damaged in the attack in Iskandariyah.
In another operation, soldiers of Task Force Iron Claw, from 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), found a car bomb along a road outside Yusufiyah yesterday. The burned-out vehicle was found near a settlement known to coalition forces as Janabi Village. The soldiers saw wires leading out of the trunk of the vehicle and called for an explosive ordnance disposal team to investigate further. Explosive ordnance personnel destroyed the vehicle with a controlled detonation.
Separately, Multinational Division Baghdad troops found and seized a massive weapons cache along one of Baghdads main highways Feb. 28. Soldiers from Company A, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment Golden Dragons, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), discovered the cache while conducting a combat patrol along Mulla Fayad Highway, west of Yusufiyah. The cache consisted of two Sanger missiles with launch tubes, many different types of ammunition, grenades and homemade explosives.
(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)