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US Military in Iraq Detains 3 Iran-Linked Suspects in British Kidnappings

07 October 2007

The U.S. military in Iraq says it has detained three Iran-backed Shi'ite militia fighters believed responsible for the kidnapping of five British security contractors earlier this year.

A U.S. statement Sunday says the suspects - linked to a splinter group of the Shi'ite Mahdi Army militia - were captured Saturday in a pre-dawn raid in Baghdad's Sadr City district.

The five Britons were abducted from the Iraqi Finance Ministry in May by heavily-armed men in police uniforms.

In new violence, Iraqi police say three bomb blasts in separate parts of Baghdad today killed at least nine civilians and wounded a dozen others.

One of the bombs killed three bystanders as a U.S. military patrol passed in a southern district. A second bomb killed three other civilians near an Iraqi police patrol in eastern Baghdad, while a third blast killed three in central Baghdad.

In other developments, an al-Qaida-linked group, the Islamic State of Iraq has claimed responsibility for killing a prominent anti-al-Qaida Sunni sheikh north of Baghdad last week. Sheikh Muawiya Jebara and three of his bodyguards were killed by a roadside bomb Thursday in Salahuddin.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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