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Iraqi Insurgent Leader Claims Group Producing Own Rockets


An Iraqi insurgent leader has claimed that his group has begun to manufacture its own rockets.

The claim was made in an audiotape posted on an Islamist Web site. The tape is said to be from Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, head of the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella group that includes al-Qaida in Iraq. The claim could not be verified.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military says coalition forces in Iraq detained eight suspected terrorists in raids near Baghdad and the city of Fallujah, west of the capital.

The military also says a dump truck carrying explosives overturned north of Baghdad late Monday on its way to attack a joint Iraqi-U.S. security station in Mushada.

The military says the truck also carried containers of gasoline, not nitric acid as earlier reported.

In Mosul, gunmen killed a senior police official - the latest in a string of recent attacks in the northern city.

The U.S. military also says an investigation into Monday's operation against suspected al-Qaida militants in Ramadi has revealed that the three men killed during the raid were not Iraqi policemen as first reported. Earlier, the military said the dead were policemen killed in a case of "friendly fire."

Also on Monday, six Iraqi Cabinet ministers loyal to radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr quit to protest the government's refusal to set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

But Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says the foreign forces cannot be withdrawn until the Iraqi military is ready to take over security responsibilities.

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