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Iraqis Take Lead Against Bombers, Militia Leader

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, 2006 – Iraqi units took the lead in capturing suspected bomb-makers and a senior militia leader, officials at Multinational Force Iraq reported today.

Iraqi special forces personnel conducted a raid yesterday in the Jihad district of Baghdad and captured two bomb-makers, officials said. The unit detained seven other suspected cell members and confiscated two Iraqi uniforms.

The cell is suspected of building improvised explosive devices and car bombs as well as training other cells to use the weapons.

In other developments, Iraqi army and Multinational Division- Baghdad troops detained a senior militia leader in Baghdad Nov. 3, coalition officials said.

Soldiers from 1st Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, searched the Al Hassan Mosque in Kadhamiyah, a northern Baghdad neighborhood, after receiving reports that two Iraqi citizens were being held hostage there. Soldiers of the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team conducted a cordon of the area to provide security.

A group of concerned Iraqi citizens approached the Stryker Brigade soldiers during the operation to tell them the whereabouts of a senior militia leader suspected of running a murder and kidnapping cell.

The Iraqi soldiers found evidence of foul play, but no hostages, officials said. They then moved to the reported location of the senior militia leader, where they found the suspected terrorist and apprehended him for further questioning.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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