View Full Version : US Troops Seize Scores of Al-Qaeda

03-02-06, 07:27 PM
US Troops Seize Scores of Al-Qaeda
Agence France-Presse | March 02, 2006

US forces have detained 61 rebels linked to Al-Qaeda in Iraq frontman Abu Musab al-Zarqawi near Fallujah, in western Iraq, Major-General Rick Lynch told a news conference Thursday.

The rebels were detained on Monday during a raid on a rebel bomb-making and training base, the US-led coalition spokesman said.

"In an area 30 miles (20 kilometres) northeast of Fallujah, coalition forces had intelligence of an Al-Qaeda in Iraq facility used for training and bomb-making," Lynch said.

"Detail planning and execution led to the apprehension of 61 members of Zarqawi's network in Iraq."

Those apprehended include "critical facilitators" of Zarqawi, he said, adding that a large stock of weapons and ammunition were also confiscated.

The US military, separately, announced that another 10 rebels had been detained after raids in Hubbaniya, near Fallujah, on Thursday.

The latest raids are part of Operation Saeed, conducted by US forces over the past few months in the restive Al-Anbar province.

He said the operation has been successful because rebel attacks in the province fell from 145 to 104 during the week ended February 24 compared to the previous week.

Lynch said rebel attacks across Iraq also fell during the same period from 555 to 522, although attacks across southern Iraq rose during the period from 15 to 33.

US forces repeatedly carry out sweeps in Al-Anbar, a Sunni-majority province, where foreign fighters are said to have crossed over from Syria.

Meanwhile, sectarian violence that hit Iraq in the wake of the bombing of the Shiite shrine in Samarra claimed the lives of 319 civilians over eight days, Lynch said, adding that over the same period 33 mosques had been attacked.

The Iraqi government on Wednesday said 379 people had died since the shrine bombing a week earlier.