07-04-2005, 07:53 PM
Iraq Insurgent Roundup Nets 100 SuspectsReply
Monday, July 04, 2005
BAGHDAD, Iraq — U.S. and Iraqi forces raided suspected insurgent safe houses near Baghdad International Airport on Monday, arresting at least 100 suspected militants, including foreign fighters, the U.S. military said.
Also Monday, the family of Egypt's top envoy to Iraq pleaded for the diplomat's speedy release after his weekend abduction in Baghdad. Speaking from Cairo, the family said it had heard nothing of about his whereabouts.
Ihab al-Sherif's (search) abduction was an apparent bid to dissuade Arab governments from strengthening ties to the U.S.-backed government.
President Bush said the insurgents in Iraq will not stop democracy in that country and U.S. forces will stay "until the fight is won." He was speaking at the West Virginian University. "Terrorists can kill the innocent but they cannot stop the advance of freedom," he said.
U.S. troops, meanwhile, marked Independence Day with barbecues, horseshoes, volleyball and — for those who had access — dips in a pool. At Al Asad Air Base (search) in western Anbar province, a special "pig pickin'" dinner was served, but the full pig was cooked in a kitchen instead of being roasted on a spit.
A car bomb detonated by remote control in Baghdad killed two civilians, including one woman, and wounded four people, police said.
Elsewhere, four gunmen killed a senior member of the Kurdish Democratic Party's (search) Mosul branch, a party spokesman said. Jirjis Mohammed Amin was shot inside his sister's home in the northern city.
A second attack by gunmen in Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, killed a bodyguard of the provincial Nineveh governor, police said. He was killed in front of his home.
In the Iraqi capital, about 600 Iraqi and 250 U.S. troops took part in Operation Muthana Strike (search), which started early Monday and targeted alleged insurgents safe houses in neighborhoods near the Baghdad International Airport, the military said in a statement.
Among the arrested insurgent were captured Egyptian suspects, the military said.
The raid, which the military said was based on tips from local residents, was designed to detain suspects, seize illegal weapons and gain intelligence to disrupt future attacks.
"The success of the Iraqi army demonstrates their level of training and high commitment to rid Iraq of terrorists," said U.S. Col. Kenneth Roberts in the statement. "I am proud of our Iraqi counterparts."
A joint U.S.-Iraqi patrol came under fire Sunday south of Baghdad, killing five Iraqi soldiers and wounding three, the U.S. military said Monday. No American casualties were reported. Up to 40 suspected insurgents were captured after the attack in Youssifiyah, 12 miles south of Baghdad.
Elsewhere, gunmen in Baghdad killed an Iraqi painting contractor who worked with a U.S. military base, doctors said. Omar Othman and a friend were driving on Baghdad's dangerous airport road Monday when the assailants opened fire. Othman's friend was wounded.
Separately, the Iraqi army found the beheaded corpse of an unidentified man with his hands tied behind his back Monday in Bani Zaid village, north of Baghdad, police said.
Al-Sherif, 51, chief of Egypt's diplomatic mission in Baghdad, was seized Saturday night by about eight gunmen after he stopped to buy a newspaper in Baghdad.
Al-Sherif's brother-in-law and family spokesman, Yahia Hussein, said Monday no demands have been received from either the kidnappers or the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, which has been in contact with Iraqi authorities. Nobody claimed responsibility for the abduction.
"We know nothing at all. We don't know what the kidnappers want but I am sure the Foreign Ministry is exerting all the effort to let him free," Hussein said.
In Cairo, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said contacts were under way with the Iraqi government "and all other sides" to win his release.
More than 1,400 people have been killed in insurgent attacks since Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari announced his new government, dominated by Shiites and Kurds, on April 28. Sunni Arabs make up the core of a violent insurgency.
Washington has urged Arab nations to resume full diplomatic relations with Iraq's government, and al-Sherif's abduction appeared to serve as a warning against responding favorably to such overtures.
Last month, the Egyptian government said it would upgrade its mission in Iraq to full embassy status headed by an ambassador, which would have made al-Sherif the first Arab ambassador to Iraq's new government — although the move's timing was uncertain.
In other developments Monday:
— Britain's Defense Secretary John Reid (search) said although the insurgency may last for years, "within a year, we could begin that transition to the Iraqi forces leading the effort themselves." Reid said at least 12 of Iraq's 18 provinces were relatively peaceful.
— The reputed spokesman of two insurgent groups dismissed reports of talks between U.S. officials and rebels as a "ploy." Ibrahim Youssef al-Shammari, the newly named spokesman for the Islamic Army in Iraq (search) and the Army of Mujahedeen (search), told the Arabic-language Al-Jazeera satellite television station: "The facts on the ground show that America doesn't want to negotiate." Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has said talks have taken place with some insurgent leaders.
— A senior legislator said the 15 Sunni Arabs nominated to join a parliamentary committee drafting Iraq's new constitution will officially join Wednesday, clearing the last hurdle in bringing the minority sect into the process.
07-04-2005, 08:13 PM
Fact:'Sunni Arabs ' make up 33 to 37 percent of Iraq's population.Reply
07-04-2005, 08:49 PM
fact: MUSLIM arabs make up 99.9 to 100 percent of iraqs population.
yeah yeah I know.I was pointing to the fact that the US media says that only 20 percent are Sunnis.That's it.
Hash:look if i had offended you in some way on the suicide bombing thread please forgive me.
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