Monday, August 13, 2007


Security officers arrested carrying explosive belts

(Azzaman) - Two security officers have been arrested in the religious city of Karbala as they were trying to smuggle into the city explosive belts to target holy shrines, Karbala governor said. Aqeel al-Khazaali said preliminary investigations have shown that the two arrested officers were members of the Islamic Army, an armed group fighting U.S. occupation troops as well as the country’s U.S.-sponsored government.
Khazaali said the two, whose have not been identified, have admitted to committing “horrendous crimes” in the province. The arrest was made as hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Shiites began flocking to religious shrines to commemorate the death of one of their saints buried in Baghdad. Security was tight in Baghdad in the few days before the event on Thursday as multitudes of Shiites poured to the shrine of Imam Kadhem, a revered Shiite holy man buried in Baghdad. Iraqi security forces and army blocked the entrances and roads to the shrine and placed bomb and explosive detectors on all major roads leading to it.
Meantime, Brigadier Qassem Atta, a spokesman for the current campaign to secure Baghdad, said the authorities have discovered “a huge weapons depot” at a major Sunni mosque in the city. He said the arms cache include mortars, artillery projectiles, missiles and rocket launchers. Atta said 86 gunmen were killed and 143 captured in the past two weeks in Adhamiya, a predominantly Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad. He said 37 kidnapped Iraqis were freed, 914 bombs defused and 13 car bombs dismantled in the same area.

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