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US Troops Discover Weapons Cache, Arrest Suspected Terrorists in Iraqi Raids - 2003-12-11

In a series of raids, U.S. troops in Iraq have discovered a large cache of weapons and arrested dozens of people, including three men suspected of leading terrorist cells in attacking U.S. forces.

A senior U.S. commander says the raid early Thursday in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit uncovered enough weapons for 50 attacks.

The commander, Lieutenant Colonel Steve Russell, described the haul as a "Fedayeen candy shop," referring to Saddam's militia fighters. Video taken at the scene shows a large number of automatic weapons, rifles, grenades, and explosives being pulled out of a hole in the ground.

The colonel says his troops arrested three men believed to be leaders of several cells organizing attacks against the coalition.

In another series of raids Wednesday south of Baghdad, military spokesmen say U.S. troops arrested at least 41 people suspected of involvement in the killings of seven Spanish intelligence agents last month.

A U.S. Army statement says those captured include a cell leader, an intelligence officer, and the attackers who ambushed the Spaniards' convoy.