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Iraqi Army Detains 16 Suspects; Insurgents Kill 15 Civilians

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2007 – Special Iraqi army forces detained 16 suspected militiamen during operations today with coalition advisors in Sadr City, and insurgents killed 15 Iraqis and wounded nine in a car-bomb attack in Ramadi yesterday.

The operations in Sadr City were targeting the leadership of several rogue militia cells operating against Iraqi civilians, officials said.

Iraqi forces targeted several individuals who allegedly control multiple illegal militia cells and direct and perpetrate sectarian murder, torture and kidnapping, officials said. The wanted individuals are reported to operate out of Sadr City and are linked to attacks on coalition forces and the supply of weapons and munitions that support continued violence.

Iraqi forces entered several secondary objectives during the operations, but caused only minimal damage, officials said.

In Ramadi, insurgents killed 15 Iraqis, including women, children and two police officers in a car-bomb attack near a mosque in a residential neighborhood yesterday. The attack, which also wounded nine people, occurred at about 6 p.m.

"I am mortified at the absolute lack of regard for the lives of the Iraqi people which has been displayed by al Qaeda in Iraq," said Col. John Charlton, commander of the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. "The murder of any Iraqi citizen is tragic, but to intentionally kill innocent children is proof positive that now more than ever, Iraqi citizens need to stand together with us in support of their local Iraqi security forces to stamp out this terrorist threat."

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

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