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US Military: Hundreds Questioned in Search for Missing Soldiers

15 May 2007

The U.S. military in Iraq says hundreds of people have been questioned and 11 detained as part of a search for three missing U.S. soldiers believed captured by al-Qaida.

The military says coalition and Iraqi forces have been "working around the clock" to find the soldiers, in an area south of Baghdad known as the "triangle of death."

A U.S. officer, Major Kenny Mintz, says troops are trying to isolate areas where the soldiers are thought to be. He says the captors are unable to move the soldiers from where they are, if they are holding them.

The soldiers have been missing since their unit was attacked Saturday.

An al-Qaida-led militant group, "the Islamic State of Iraq", that claimed responsibility for the attack has demanded the United States call of its search, if the soldiers are to remain safe.

The U.S. military has said it believes al-Qaida in Iraq or an affiliated group abducted the soldiers. Four other U.S. troops were killed in the ambush south of Baghdad.

The military says it has been relying on intelligence tips in the search for the missing soldiers.

In violence Tuesday, Iraqi police say at least seven people were killed when a pair of bombs exploded at a market in Baghdad. At least 15 others were wounded.

In other news, coalition forces detained 10 suspected terrorists during raids targeting the Ansar al-Sunna and al-Qaida in Iraq terrorist networks. The raids took place in Mosul, Fallujah and the northwestern city of Taji.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters and AFP.

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