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Iraqi Forces Raid Hostage Takers

17 April 2005 -- Iraqi security forces raided a village in central Iraq today where Sunni militants were holding several Shi'ite Muslims hostage and threatening to kill them unless all Shi'ites left the area.

Iraqi authorities say the security forces surrounded Madain village to root out the hostage takers. Authorities said that by early today, Iraqi forces freed about 15 Shi'ite families.

No casualties were reported.

Security forces are continuing comb through the village of about1,000 people, which is located 24 kilometers southeast of Baghdad.