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April 17, 2005

Iraqi, U.S. Forces in Bid to Rescue Hostages

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

- Reuters via Wired News
Iraqi troops backed by U.S. forces raided parts of a town south of Baghdad Sunday to try to free a group of Shi'ites seized by Sunni insurgents and threatened with death, officials and witnesses said.

A senior Shi'ite official in Baghdad said up to 150 hostages, including women and children, were being held since well-armed guerrillas entered Madaen Friday and seized them.

Iraq's caretaker prime minister, Iyad Allawi, blamed the kidnappings on al Qaeda's wing in Iraq, a group that has carried out many attacks in the country, and said it was part of a plan to spread sectarian strife and provoke a Sunni-Shi'ite civil war.

"Unfortunately, evil powers are trying to disturb the peace of our country, stop progress, destroy Iraq, keep killing innocent civilians and planning for the start of ethnic, sectarian and religious division," Allawi said in a statement.

He said some people were trying to implement "wicked plans of extremist terror" and urged Iraqis to remain calm.   Read more ...

Posted by Hyscience at April 17, 2005 9:52 AM



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