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US, Iraqi Troops Conduct Raids, Seize 32 Insurgents

More than 5,000 U.S., Iraqi and British troops have swept through an Iraqi town south of Baghdad in the latest operation against insurgents ahead of January elections.

The U.S. military says troops arrested 32 suspected insurgents in Jabella Tuesday. The raid follows operations in Fallujah and the northern city of Mosul.

U.S. Defense Minister Donald Rumsfeld says those operations show how much insurgents are opposed to a democratic Iraq. He warned that attacks will likely increase ahead of the elections.

Meanwhile, foreign ministers from Arab and Western countries met Tuesday in Egypt and said full participation in the vote is the key to reconciliation in Iraq.

In another development, a Sunni Muslim cleric was gunned down outside a mosque north of Baghdad.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.