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Iraqi Woman Arrested for Recruiting Female Suicide Bombers


Iraq's military says police have arrested a woman suspected of recruiting more than 80 female suicide bombers and of planning nearly 30 attacks.

A military spokesman says the woman belonged to a Sunni militant group (Ansar al-Sunna) and was captured at an undisclosed location about two weeks ago.

Samira Ahmed Jassim, wearing a traditional black robe, was shown confessing in a video played Tuesday for reporters in Baghdad.

In the video, she explained how she mentally prepared women to be suicide bombers before sending them for training at insurgent bases. She said some of the attacks were carried out in troubled Diyala province, north of Baghdad.

Militant groups in Iraq are using more women on suicide missions because they are less likely to be detected in searches.

Separately, the United Nations Security Council issued a statement on Tuesday, praising the successful provincial elections on Saturday. The council commended Iraqis for demonstrating their commitment to a peaceful and democratic political process.

The U.N. special representative in Iraq, Staffan de Mistura, said about half of Iraq's 15 million eligible voters went to the polls.

Official results are not expected for several days, but already some people are charging fraud. U.N. officials say there was a huge presence of Iraqi and international monitors for the election and that the electoral commission would review any complaints.

Elections were held in 14 of Iraq's 18 provinces. The others are delaying the vote until various regional issues can be worked out.

In a separate development today, the U.S. military said it is set to release up to 1,500 prisoners a month - an average of about 50 people a day - as part of its agreement with Iraq on transferring authority.

U.S. General David Quantock says those released are no longer thought by either Washington or Baghdad to pose a threat to the security or stability of Iraq.

Other detainees will be transferred to Iraqi custody.


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