One Killed, 40 Arrests in Iraq

By Prensa Latina,

Baghdad : Unidentified men killed a member of an armed pro-government Iraqi group as Defense Minister Abdul-Qader al-Ubaydi headed to the northeast to supervise security operations.

Support TwoCircles

Police say the member of pro-government Sahwa Council was killed in Hilla, Babel, by gunfire while driving his motorbike.

The Sahwa Councils were set up with official support at several locations, namely in Diyala, Ninive, Salah al-Din and Al-Anbar to boost tribal power against the resistance and Al-Qaeda.

Iraqi and US troops began Wednesday the joint operation Zahf al-Usoud to hunt down suspects and eliminate presumed Al Qaida members in Babel.

The second phase started Friday and produced 36 arrests, confiscation of 80 Kalashnikov rifles and hand grenades in al-Askari, Gheeda and al-Iskan, in al-Askandariya, north Hilla.

The defense minister will stay several days in Diyala (NE) to monitor the Bashaer al-Kheir Operation throughout the province.

Hundreds of detentions in joint police and military searches, raids and arrest suspects have not eliminated violence or insecurity.

A US-Iraqi joint force jailed two activists within a so-called national reconciliation project in Baquba, Diyala, during a broad-scale aerial operation at al-Dojma village.