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Kidnapped Iraqi Defense Official Freed

(RFE/RL) March 4, 2007 -- Iraqi security forces rescued an Iraqi senior Defense Ministry official one day after he was kidnapped in west Baghdad.

Government spokesman Brigadier General Qassim al-Mousawi said Lieutenant General Thamir Sultan was freed in a raid in the capital's Al-Jamiya neighborhood.

He was abducted in the mainly Sunni neigborhood on March 3. Also today in Al-Jamiya, gunmen killed a Shi'ite editor of the "Al-Mashriq" newspaper in front of his home.

Insurgents Captured

Also today, U.S. troops captured three suspected insurgents in a raid on a mosque in Baghdad.

The U.S. military says the detainees include a "suspected terrorist" believed to be responsible for distributing weapons and explosives to insurgents. An Iraqi woman was wounded during the operation.

In Baghdad's Sadr City, a Shi'ite stronghold, hundreds of U.S. and Iraqi troops conducted house-to-house searches and set up checkpoints.

No armed resistance was reported during the operations in the district, which has been under control of radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's militia, the Imam al-Mahdi Army.

Security forces have been stepping up operations across Baghdad for the past three weeks in an effort to stamp out sectarian violence.


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