26 March 2005 -- Iraqi officials say Iraqi soldiers backed by U.S. helicopters captured at least 120 suspected militants in a raid just outside the Shi'a Muslim holy city of Kerbala early today.
Iraq's Defense Minister Hazim Sha'lan al-Khuza'i told Reuters news agency that several suspected insurgents were also killed in what he described as a "very successful" operation.
Explosives, car bombs, and rocket-propelled grenades were also reportedly seized.
There has been no confirmation of the raid from the U.S. military.
Al-Khuza'i suggested that the suspected militants were planning to attack Kerbala, which next week will draw hundreds of thousands of pilgrims for Arbain, a major Shi'a religious ceremony.