Suspected al-Zarqawi associate nabbed
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A suspected deputy of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been captured in the restive city of Mosul, the Iraqi military said Saturday.
Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition forces on Friday arrested Mullah Mahdi and five other suspected terrorists -- Mahdi's brother, three other Iraqis and a Syrian, Iraqi Maj. Gen. Khalil al-Obeidi said.
Al-Obeidi said authorities believed Mahdi carried out attacks at the direction of al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian-born terrorist who is the most-wanted man in Iraq.
U.S. military officials believe Mahdi belongs to Ansar al-Sunni, a group thought to have ties to al-Zarqawi but not under his direct control.
Mosul is the second-most populous city in Iraq, according to the U.S. State Department, and the capital of Ninevah province, where Iraqi and U.S. troops have been conducting small-scale raids for the past month.
This week, the U.S. military increased its numbers in the province to about 4,000 troops and began a sweep of the area, looking for insurgents who might be using the remote region as a staging ground for terror attacks across Iraq.
Insurgent violence in the province continued Friday.
A suicide car bomb went off behind a police station in Hammam al-Ali, south of Mosul, killing two police officers and wounding seven others, the deputy governor said.
Also, mortar rounds wounded five Iraqis in Tal Afar, the U.S. military said.
Other developmentsA suicide car bomber wounded eight Iraqi soldiers and one civilian near an Iraqi army checkpoint in Tikrit, the U.S. military said. A U.S. military spokesman said Iraqi soldiers shot at the car as it approached the checkpoint, which is near a coalition military base.Operations against the insurgency in Baghdad and around the nearby Abu Ghraib area during the past 10 days have led to 800 arrests, a senior U.S. military official said Friday. Most of those are Iraqis, but a few were foreign fighters, he said. Some of the 800 detainees have since been released. The U.S. military said a Bradley Fighting Vehicle manned by coalition forces collided with a car carrying Iraq civilians north of Baghdad on Friday. Two Iraqis were killed, including a child, in the accident when the car caught fire, the military said.
CNN's Jennifer Eccleston, Kianne Sadeq and Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.