- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 27, 2006

12:36 p.m.

BAGHDAD — The U.S. military said it killed four suspected terrorists and four civilians today in a raid in Baqouba, while Iraqi forces announced they had arrested a leader of a militant group believed responsible for numerous attacks on coalition forces.

The U.S. command also announced the deaths of a Marine and a U.S. soldier, both of whom were killed in action Monday in the western Anbar province.

In Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, American soldiers came under fire when approaching the home of a suspect linked to the leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq, the U.S. command said.

U.S. troops killed two terrorist suspects, then called in air strikes “due to the heavy volume of enemy fire from the target building,” the military said. After the attack, they found the bodies of two more terror suspects and four women inside the building.

Three persons were wounded, including two suspected terrorists who were detained later.

The troops also found weapons and a global positioning system, the military said.

A family member said all eight persons killed were relatives and disputed that they had any links to a terrorist organization.

In Baghdad, meanwhile, the Iraqi General Command of the Armed Forces said a leader of the militant 1920 Revolution Brigades had been arrested Tuesday night in the village of al-Jazira.

The operation follows the arrest of another leader of the group and seven aides early Saturday in the same area, about 60 miles north of Baghdad.

Authorities have not released the insurgents’ names, citing security concerns.

The Sunni militant group, a mixture of Iraqi nationalists and Islamic extremists, is believed to be responsible for numerous attacks against U.S. forces and a series of kidnappings. It was one of seven Sunni Arab insurgent groups the government said in June had contacted authorities to declare their readiness to join in efforts at national reconciliation.

In the southern city of Basra, British and Iraqi troops carried out an ambitious security operation aimed at rooting out corrupt police, pacifying the city and helping residents rebuild, the British military said.

Some 2,300 Iraqi army troops and 1,000 British soldiers began Operation Sinbad, with another 2,000 British troops conducting operations in the surrounding area, said British forces spokesman Maj. Charlie Burbridge.

The operation was expected to take months, he said. A key component is a crackdown on police corruption, and a special team will be going station by station to weed out those involved in it, he said.

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