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CNN.com November 27, 2005

Ramadi offensive nets suspected insurgents

U.S. Marine killed in combat west of Baghdad

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- U.S. and Iraqi troops have detained several suspected insurgents in the Ramadi area as part of the latest joint operation in the area dominated by Sunni Arabs, the U.S. Marines said Sunday.

Imad Salih al-Fahdawi, who has been linked to an al Qaeda in Iraq cell, was one of the insurgents detained, the Marines said in a news release.

"Salih was involved in attacks against government officials and imams," the release said.

The raids, involving 400 coalition personnel and 150 Iraqi soldiers, also turned up several weapons caches in the eastern part of Anbar province's capital, it added.

"The caches found consisted of numerous artillery and mortar rounds, rocket-propelled grenades, high explosives, small arms weapons, small arms ammunition, bulletproof vests and bomb-making equipment," according to the Marines' statement.

U.S. officials believe a large portion of the insurgency is made up of Sunni Arabs, who dominated the country during the rule of Saddam Hussein.

The mission is the fourth of its kind in recent weeks and is designed to try to establish stability in the area ahead of the national elections December 15.

The national assembly to be elected in December will be charged with appointing a four-year government and would be able to make changes to a constitution that was passed by a national referendum in October.

Marine killed by bomb
A roadside bomb has killed a Marine near Camp Taqaddum west of Baghdad, the U.S. military said Sunday.

The Marine died during combat Saturday and is the 2,107th U.S. service member to be killed during the Iraq war.

Camp Taqaddum is about 45 miles (74 kilometers) from the Iraqi capital, according to the Web site GlobalSecurity.org.

Clark to aid Hussein defense team
Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark flew to Baghdad on Sunday to help defend Hussein, a defense team lawyer said.

Khames Hameed al-Ubaidi said if Clark is not allowed to participate in the courtroom defense, he will act as a legal adviser. Al-Ubaidi said the legal team will also ask the tribunal trying Hussein and other regime officials for a three-month delay when the trial resumes Monday.

Clark was attorney general for President Lyndon Johnson and was a critic of the Iraq war before the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.

Other developments

  • Four Western aid workers in Iraq, including two from Canada, have been kidnapped, according to a Canadian government official. Dan McTeague, the parliamentary secretary for Canadians abroad, said the four were kidnapped Saturday, but he would not identify the agency with which they are affiliated.
  • "A lot of Iraqis are being tortured or killed in the course of interrogations," former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi told The Observer newspaper of London, England, in an interview published Sunday. Allawi told the paper that rights abuses in Iraq are as bad as they were under Saddam Hussein, if not worse. Allawi, a secular Shiite and former Baathist, is running for office in the December 15 elections.
  • The U.S. military said Saturday that several sources have claimed a close associate of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in a raid in Iraq last month. Sources said the man, Bilal Mahmud Awad Shebah, also known as Abu Ubaydah, helped relay messages to and from al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian for whom the U.S. government is offering a $25 million reward.
  • Insurgents in Iraq killed four people and wounded 17 others Saturday in three separate attacks, officials said. In the day's deadliest attack, a blast from a suicide car bomb ripped through a gas station in the Iraqi city of Samarra, killing three people and wounding nine others, according to the city's police chief.


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