Tribal group attacks Al Qaeda insurgents in Iraq

February 18th, 2008 - 8:44 pm ICT by admin  

Baghdad, Feb 18 (DPA) A local tribal group in the northern Iraqi city of Samarra said Monday it killed a gunman wearing an explosive belt and arrested two suspected Al Qaeda insurgents in a raid on their hideout where a large weapons cache was seized. “The local police and a tribal force launched Sunday night a search operation in Jalam, east of Samarra, for members of Al Qaeda,” Mazen Yussif, the head of the group in Samarra, told DPA.

Three fighters fled after the shootout that erupted in their hideout where a big cache of weapons was found. It included 100 rocket propellers, 100 mortar guns, hundreds of rifles of various ranges, explosives, mines and explosive belts.

The weapons were found stored in boxes underground.

A US force took the weapons and the two arrested fighters to its headquarters.

Tribal forces known as Awakening Councils are US-funded civilian armed groups formed in Sunni Arab-dominated areas to fight insurgents from the al-Qaeda terrorist network. Some members of the groups are themselves former insurgents.

Their campaign against Al Qaeda has contributed to improving security in many Sunni areas and marked a significant development in Iraq in the past year. Under a US-backed plan, their members should join the regular security forces or find other jobs.

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