US, Iraqi troops launch new offensive against Al Qaeda

July 29th, 2008 - 4:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Baghdad, July 29 (Xinhua) Iraqi security forces backed by US troops launched a new operation Tuesday against Al Qaeda militants in the northern province of Diyala, the military said. “I can confirm that the operation begun in Diyala early in the morning to chase terrorists from the Al Qaeda and other criminal gangs,” defence ministry spokesman Major-General Mohammad al-Askari said.

Askari said other goals of the operation ‘Glad Tidings’ is to eliminate smuggling corridors in the areas surrounding Diyala.

An indefinite curfew was put in force in the province from early morning to facilitate the operation, he said.

Diyala province, which stretches from the eastern edges of Baghdad to the Iranian border, has long been bastion of the Al Qaeda in Iraq network.

The operation in the province came as the US and Iraqi security forces have been mounting major offensives against extremist Sunni and Shia militiamen across the war-torn country.

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