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Iraq arrests 93 in anti-Qaeda sweep

world Updated: Dec 23, 2010 19:32 IST

AFP
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Iraqi forces have arrested 93 suspects, including 60 wanted men, in a crackdown on Al-Qaeda in Anbar province, defence ministry spokesman major general Mohammed al-Askari said on Thursday.

"A large military operation targeting Al-Qaeda and their sleeper cells was launched overnight" on Tuesday in Anbar, western Iraq, Askari said.

"Ninety-three suspects were arrested, including 60 wanted men," he said, adding that ammunition had been discovered as well.

The operation was jointly launched by the army, police, pro-government tribal forces and members of the Sahwa, or anti-Qaeda militia, Askari said.

The aim of the operation is to "secure Baghdad and not give any opportunity for Al-Qaeda to carry out terrorist actions, by arresting its members," and to "achieve security and stability in all Iraq," he said.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki named security as one of his three top priorities after parliament on Tuesday approved his nomination for a second term of office and gave its stamp of approval to his national unity government.

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