US troops capture suspected militia leader in Iraq

June 3rd, 2008 - 6:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Baghdad, June 3 (Xinhua) US troops in Iraq Tuesday captured a suspected Shia militia leader and his five associates during an operation in Kut, the capital of eastern province of Wasit, military sources said. Acting on intelligence reports, the troops surrounded a house in Kut, some 160 km southeast of Baghdad, and captured the suspect who is believed to be “one of the top criminal leaders in Kut,” a military statement said.

It said the suspect is a member of the Iranian-backed “Special Groups” and believed to be involved in murders of Iraqis and US soldiers.

The Special Groups are Shia militia extremists said to be funded, trained and armed by external sources, specifically by Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force operatives.

Iraqi officials and US have accused Iran of arming, funding and training Shia militia in Iraq, but Tehran has denied the charge.

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