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Iraqi Soldiers Begin Sweep in Northern Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2006 – Iraqi soldiers swept a northern area in Iraq yesterday with the help of U.S. and coalition forces, military officials reported.

Meanwhile, Iraqi police and coalition forces captured cell members in separate raids in Baghdad, and terrorists trying to set a roadside bomb blew themselves up western Mosul.

More than 1,000 Iraqi soldiers with the 2nd Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division, and coalition forces began conducting cordon-and-search operations in the Zytoon and Rashad valleys yesterday to clear several villages of possible insurgents and unauthorized weapons near Iraq’s northern city of Kirkuk.

Insurgent forces were reported to be operating in the area, including a recent attack on a combined Iraqi and coalition patrol. The 2nd Iraqi Army Division brigade plans to maintain a formal presence in the area to deny sanctuary to enemy fighters and protect the civilians in southern parts of the Kirkuk province, officials said.

In Ramadi, forces from the 7th Iraqi Army Division, with coalition advisors, conducted a raid Nov. 14 to capture members of a kidnapping and murder cell responsible for abducting, torturing and murdering Iraqi civilian and Iraqi security forces. The cell members also are responsible for placing roadside bombs, officials said. Eight suspects were detained during the raid.

Coalition frces captured six insurgents and detained another suspect in a separate raid in the Al Doura area of Baghdad on Nov 13. The insurgent cell is responsible for deadly attacks against Iraqi civilians and Iraqi security forces in the area and is linked to Al Qaeda in Iraq and other insurgent groups, officials said.

Also on Nov. 13, three terrorists were killed and one was seriously wounded when they tried to plant a roadside bomb in the Baghdad Garage neighborhood on Train Station Road in western Mosul. Two innocent bystanders, injured in the blast, were transported to Al Jamouri Hospital.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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