Iraq: Police arrest senior al-Qaeda members

Baghdad, 26 May (AKI) - Two senior members of the Islamic State of Iraq extremist group have been arrested, according to police in Diyala province, north-east of the capital, Baghdad.

The Islamic State of Iraq is the umbrella name adopted by al-Qaeda groups in the country.

"On Sunday our battalion carried out a raid with the US forces in the area of Buhroz, arresting 29 terrorists," said the chief of police, according to a report in London-based Al-Hayat newspaper.

"Among those captured were nine local emirs of al-Qaeda."

According to the Iraqi army, the arrests were important because those detained have been accused of having "recruited children to carry out suicide attacks".

A few days ago, the army detained an alleged terrorist who was identified as the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq.

These arrests which were part of a major military offensive, known as Mother of Two Springs, are considered significant .

The offensive in the province of Ninive, north of the Sunni Diyala province, was targeting al-Qaeda in Iraq.

It is believed that the al-Qaeda fighters fled to Diyala to avoid capture by Sunni tribal militias loyal to the Iraqi government.


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