40 Al Qaeda suspects detained in Iraqi swoops

August 6th, 2008 - 7:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Baghdad, Aug 6 (DPA) US and Iraqi security forces Wednesday detained dozens of suspects linked to Al Qaeda as part of a nationwide crackdown on the terror network, news reports said. In Diyala, two female would-be suicide bombers and 15 wanted men were arrested as part of Operation Baashaer al-Kheir (Promise of Good) currently ongoing in the volatile province, officials told independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).

“Iraqi forces arrested two female suicide bombers in al-Asri neighbourhood in al-Tahrir region in Diyala and 15 wanted men in Muqdadiya, al-Saadiya, Baladruz and Kanaan regions,” defence ministry spokesman Mohammad al-Askari told VOI.

Launched last week, the operation is aimed at tracking down Al Qaeda members in Diyala, a province extending north-east of Baghdad as far as the Iranian border.

A second military operation was launched Wednesday by joint US-Iraq forces in Babel province, 100 km south of Baghdad. Some 23 suspects were seized in the swoop, among them an Al Qaeda leader and two senior aides, an unnamed source told VOI.

“The forces confiscated 128 weapons found with the three gunmen and found 300 mortar shells in a mosque in Hillah,” he added.

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