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March 3, 2007 -- Iraqi forces today launched a mission to kill or capture the Al-Qaeda-linked insurgents who have kidnapped and killed 14 police officers.
The officers went missing after their convoy was ambushed on March 1. They were later found dead in Ba'qubah, north of Baghdad.
A coalition of insurgent groups linked to Al-Qaeda posted an Internet message saying the police were killed to avenge the alleged rape of a Baghdad Sunni woman by Shi'ite police.
Iraqi officials said they have killed three "terrorists" and arrested nine more in Ba'qubah, but it was not clear whether the operation was directly linked to the policemen's murders.
Separately, six Sunni men who had received death threats for attempting to reconcile with local Shi'a, were killed today in Al-Yussifiyah, 20 kilometers south of Baghdad.