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US Military Releases 500 Iraqi Prisoners

The U.S. military has released 500 Iraqi prisoners in a ceremony Thursday attended by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The prime minister urged those being released to help in the process of rebuilding the country. The ceremony took place at a sprawling U.S. military base (Camp Victory) near the Baghdad airport.

The U.S. military says some 2,000 Iraqis are still in U.S. custody. Sunni Arab leaders have complained that many of those detained by U.S. and Iraqi forces are Sunnis.

In other news, Iraqi officials say they found seven more decomposing bodies in the Lake Thar Thar area north of Baghdad, days after 22 bodies were found in the area, which is about 100 kilometers north of Baghdad.

Also, the U.S. military says an American soldier was killed in a bomb attack Wednesday south of Baghdad.

Separately, the U.S. military says coalition forces detained six people in a raid Monday, including a "special groups" leader thought to be responsible for the procurement and manufacturing of roadside bombs. The military says the raid took place in the village of Sindiyah, northwest of Khalis.

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