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US Military Says Eight Suspected Terrorists Detained in Raids Near Baghdad, Fallujah

17 April 2007

The U.S. military says coalition forces in Iraq have detained eight suspected terrorists in raids near Baghdad and the city of Fallujah, west of the capital.

A military statement says the raids were carried out Tuesday and that six of the detainees are allegedly linked to the al-Qaida terrorist network.

The statement says the two other detainees are suspected of having ties to insurgents using car bombs (vehicle borne explosive device) in the Baghdad area.

Separately, the military says a dump truck overturned north of Baghdad late Monday, revealing a payload of nitric acid and explosives.

It says the driver of the truck confessed he was paid to attack a joint U.S. and Iraq security forces compound in the town of Mashahda, north of Baghdad.

The military also says an investigation into Monday's operation against suspected al-Qaida militants in Ramadi has revealed that the three men killed during the raid were not Iraqi policemen as first reported. Earlier, the military said the Iraqi policemen were killed in case of "friendly fire."

Also on Monday, six Iraqi cabinet ministers loyal to radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr quit to protest the government's refusal to set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

But Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says the foreign forces cannot be withdrawn until the Iraqi military is ready to take over security responsibilities.

Sadr's decision to withdraw his bloc's ministers does not affect the 30 seats the group holds in the Iraqi parliament.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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