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Key Arrest Made in Iraq, But Bombs and Mortars Continue


The U.S. military says it has captured a man considered to be a top aide to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi -- the most-wanted man associated with Iraq's insurgency. A spokesman for the Multinational Force in Iraq, Brig. Gen. Don Alston, says U.S. forces captured Mohammed Khalaf, the leader of the Mosul branch of Zarqawi's group, al-Qaida in Iraq.

Iraqi security forces and U.S. troops have launched more raids targeting insurgents, following a recent upsurge in attacks.

Man mourns relative who died in attack Thursday
The U.S. military says five Marines were killed when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb blast near the town of Ramadi, west of the Iraqi capital. The military also says a sailor attached to the Marines' unit was also killed Wednesday in Ramadi by gunfire.

In the capital, Baghdad, mortar rounds landed on a residential area, killing five people, including two children, and injuring seven others. And a car bomb was detonated as an Iraqi National Guard patrol unit drove by a police station. Five soldiers and two civilians were injured.

Also, Iraqi police arrested 13 suspected insurgents during raids in various sections of Baghdad Thursday. An Iraqi police official said his force had arrested 704 suspected insurgents since April 17th. He said six of those people have been sentenced to death.

Meanwhile in Washington Thursday, congressional Democratic Party members begin a public forum -- short of a full hearing - into the so-called "Downing Street Memo" from July 2002.

The memo alleges that intelligence and facts were "being fixed” to justify a decision to invade Iraq.

During an appearance at the White House last week, both British Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Bush denied those allegations.

However, Michigan Congressman John Conyers, who chairs the group holding the forum, says there are too many unanswered questions about the intelligence used to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

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