Tikrit : Iraqi security forces have raided strongholds of al-Qaida network in Salahudin province, detaining 30 suspects and seizing a large amount of chemicals and weapons caches, a provincial police source said on Sunday.
During the past two days, a joint Iraqi Army and police force stormed villages west of Tikrit and Samarra cities, detaining the 30 suspects and confiscating weapons, including two tons of TNT and 2,000 liters of Sulfuric Acid, Colonel Hassan Ahmad, from the provincial police command told Xinhua.
Based on intelligence by local citizens, the troops surrounded and searched the targeted al-Qaida hideouts without fighting, Ahmad said.
The troops also found and destroyed a car bombs factory with three ready-to-explode booby-trapped cars, Ahmad said, adding that hundreds more of heavy artillery rounds, explosive charges and explosive vests were seized by the troops.
Armed groups, criminal and kidnapping gangs are active in the area that stretches from the two cities of Samarra and Tikrit, 120 km and 170 km north of Baghdad respectively, to the Lake Tharthar, northwest of Baghdad, and has long been out of the control of the Iraqi security forces.