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Coalition Forces Detain 25 Al-Qaida in Iraq Suspects


The U.S. military in Iraq says coalition forces have detained 25 suspected members of al-Qaida in Iraq in operations around the country since Friday.

A military statement issued Saturday says coalition troops apprehended two men with suspected links to car bombing attacks, as well as seven other suspects in Baghdad and Taji, north of the capital. One of the men is accused of teaching bombing techniques to several insurgent groups.

In the northern city of Mosul, the military says coalition forces continued to target al-Qaida in Iraq networks.

Elsewhere, a Defense Ministry spokesman says Iraqi security forces Saturday entered the second stage of an ongoing operation against Shi'ite militias in the southern province of Maysan. Iraqi troops detained at least 14 people today as part of the operation.

Iraqi security forces launched the operation in the southern city of Amarah Thursday, with the arrest of at least 17 people.

The city's mayor, Rafia Abdul-Jabbar, was among those detained in the operation. He is a supporter of Shi'i'te cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Sadr's aides have complained that Iraqi forces are carrying out what they call "random" raids. The aides have reiterated their support for Baghdad's efforts to impose order in the city, provided that security forces act within the law.

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

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