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US Troops in Iraq Capture Two Al-Qaida Operatives, Shi'ite Militia Leader


The U.S. military in Iraq says American troops captured two al-Qaida operatives and a Shi'ite militia leader Tuesday during operations around the country.

The military says one operation in the northern city of Mosul led to the capture of al-Qaida's security chief for the area and five of his aides. The al-Qaida suspect is believed to have coordinated attacks against Iraqi police.

U.S. military officials say coalition forces operating in the central town of Tikrit detained two suspects, including an al-Qaida operative thought to have organized suicide bombings.

In a separate raid Tuesday, the military says U.S. troops captured a Shi'ite militia leader and five associates in Kut, south of Baghdad. It says the militia leader is suspected of ordering attacks on Iraqis and U.S. troops.

The U.S. military also says American troops killed four insurgents Monday during gun battles in a Shi'ite district of Baghdad.

In other news, the International Organization for Migration says about 4,000 Iraqi families displaced by sectarian violence in Baghdad have started returning to the Sadr City district.

Many people fled Sadr City during nearly two months of fighting this year between U.S.-backed Iraqi forces and Shi'ite gunmen. The area has been relatively stable since the two sides agreed to a truce last month.

Also Tuesday, the U.S. military says an American soldier died of a non-battle-related cause in Iraq.

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

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