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US Troops in Iraq Raid Chalabi Headquarters - 2004-05-20


U.S. troops and Iraqi police have raided the Baghdad home and office of Iraqi Governing Council member Ahmad Chalabi.

Witnesses say soldiers and police removed computers, files and equipment from Mr. Chalabi's residence and the office of his Iraqi National Congress INC party early Thursday. The witnesses said the items were seized without a warrant.

An aide to Mr. Chalabi said the troops were looking for two party members wanted by the authorities. There was no immediate comment from the U.S. military, and witnesses say no arrests were made.

Mr. Chalabi, who returned to Iraq from exile after the fall of Saddam Hussein, is a former Pentagon favorite who has increasingly fallen out of favor in Washington. Tuesday, the Pentagon said it was cutting off funding to the Iraqi National Congress as part of the process of transferring sovereignty to the Iraqi people.

In a separate development, U.S. military officials in Iraq disputed reports that coalition forces shot at a wedding party in an attack in western Iraq Wednesday that killed some 40 Iraqis. The officials said coalition forces carried out a raid on a building suspected of housing foreign fighters.

And U.S. military officials say an American soldier was killed and three others wounded in a grenade attack Thursday, in central Baghdad. And another soldier was killed and one wounded by a roadside bomb and small arms fire north of Baghdad on Wednesday.

Spanish authorities say an Iraqi assailant was killed, another seriously wounded and a Spanish soldier slightly wounded when a Spanish convoy withdrawing from Iraq came under attack, 50 kilometers south of Diwaniyah. Meanwhile, U.S. military officials in Iraq say a U.S. soldier was killed and three others wounded in a grenade attack Thursday, in central Baghdad.

Spanish authorities say an Iraqi assailant was killed, another seriously wounded and a Spanish soldier slightly wounded when a Spanish convoy withdrawing from Iraq came under attack, 50 kilometers south of Diwaniyah.

Wednesday, U.S. military officials in Iraq denied reports that coalition forces targeted a wedding party in an attack in western Iraq earlier this week that killed an estimated 40 Iraqis.

U.S. military officials say coalition forces carried out a raid on a building suspected of housing foreign fighters and U.S. aircraft were called in when they came under fire. The incident occurred in a town in near the Syrian border.

Al-Arabiya television, citing witnesses, said a wedding party had come under attack and that civilians were among the dead.

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