Middle East News
Raids continue in Iraq, five US soldiers slain
Aug 12, 2007, 14:27 GMT
Baghdad - US-backed military raids continued in and around Baghdad on Sunday, as the US military reported 5 of its soldiers killed in earlier operations.
In a statement the US military said the five marines lost their lives Saturday around Baghdad, with four killed in an explosion that wounded four others and another soldier killed by small arms fire during a patrol.
US forces captured 30 suspected terrorists Sunday across Iraq in raids that targeted bombing networks and al-Qaeda-affiliated elements.
Local security forces based in the Shiite town of Karbala, 100 kilometres south of Baghdad, detained over the past few days 41 militants including members of al-Qaeda terrorist network in Iraq, according to Aqeel al-Khazaali, governor of Karbala.
Five of those detained are said to own a travel agency in Karbala.
Al-Khazaali added that in addition to the arrests, several car bombs were safely dismantled and a rocket launcher in addition to city maps were reportedly found in the Karbala operations.
Meanwhile, loyalists of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr reiterated their denial that the cleric had left Iraq to neighbouring Iran as US reports had it earlier.
On Sunday, the independent news agency Voices of Iraq quoted Parliamentarian Falah Shanshal, from the Sadrist bloc, as saying that the 'US intelligence services are endeavouring to make a crack from within the Sadr's movement because of the movement's stand towards the Americans and its demands for putting a timetable for the US forces' pullout of Iraq.
'It is not the first time the US forces make these kinds of stories (about Sadr), mistakeningly believing that that would have passive effects within Iraqi circles,' Shanshal added.
The last public appearance of al-Sadr was in May in Kufa during a Friday sermon, during which he called on Shiite policymakers to boycott Premier Nuri al-Maliki's Shiite-led cabinet and insisted on immediate withdrawal of US forces from Iraq.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur