The U.S. military in Iraq says coalition forces have captured two suspected members of an alleged Iranian-backed network.

Officials say a third suspect was killed during the operation targeting Katai'b Hezbollah members that took place early Wednesday in Baghdad's Karadah district.

The group is accused of recent attacks against civilians and Iraqi and coalition forces.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, meanwhile, has urged the immediate release of a reporter jailed in northern Iraq.

A court in Irbil sentenced Adel Hussein last week, November 24, to six months in jail for violating public decency laws by writing a story about homosexuality.  

Hussein's lawyer is appealing the ruling, saying the sentence is based on an outdated 1969 Iraqi penal code.  A new law that took effect in October does not recognize a violation of public decency, also known as "public custom," as an offense.

Hussein's publisher also said a representative of the region's Journalist Syndicate did not attend the trial, which is required under the new law.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is refusing to disband tribal councils despite criticisms from President Jalal Talabani and his deputies.

Iraq's presidential council says the tribal councils are illegal and are an attempt by Mr. Maliki to increase his power ahead of the country's upcoming elections.

Mr. Maliki says the councils are necessary to support government security forces.