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US Military Captures 'Foreign' Fighters in Iraq - 2003-04-06

The U.S. military in the Gulf says it has killed and captured several foreign fighters in Iraq and has evidence that they may have been trained at a camp at Salman Pak, southeast of Baghdad.

A senior U.S. military officer, Brigadier General Vince Brooks, said U.S. forces killed or captured fighters from Egypt and Sudan, among other countries, during clashes in Iraq. "Some of these fighters came from Sudan, some from Egypt, some from other places, and we have killed a number of them and captured a number of them," General Brooks said.

General Brooks did not say when or where or how many foreign fighters had been killed or captured. But he said U.S. forces found evidence of military training activities inside Iraq that increased the likelihood of links between Iraq and terrorist organizations.

In the first report of a training camp for foreigners inside Iraqi-controlled territory, General Brooks mentioned that U.S. forces believe a facility at Salman Pak, about 20 kilometers southeast of Baghdad, is one place foreign fighters underwent training.

Several days ago, U.S. forces destroyed a camp in the autonomous Kurdish-controlled area of northern Iraq where Ansar-al-Islam, a group Washington says had links to Al-Qaida, was based.