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Al-Qaida-Linked Group Calls for Ramadan Attacks in Iraq


A terrorist group in Iraq with ties to al-Qaida has announced plans for a new offensive to mark the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Militants of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq say they will carry out a new phase of attacks in honor of the late founder of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Zarqawi was killed by a U.S. airstrike in June 2006.

The militants also threatened to kill Iraqi Sunni Arab tribal leaders who cooperate with U.S. and Iraqi forces.

Al-Qaida in Iraq has claimed responsibility for Thursday's bomb attack that killed Sunni tribal leader Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha - a key U.S. ally in Iraq. Last year, Abu Risha organized Sunni Arab clans to fight al-Qaida in Iraq. He was killed a little more than a week after meeting with President Bush.

In other news, the U.S. military said Saturday, coalition and Iraqi forces killed 14 terrorists and detained 17 suspects during operations targeting senior leaders of al-Qaida in central and northern Iraq.

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