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Iraq Transition

Iraqi forces raid Sunni lawmaker's home

Story Highlights

• Traces of explosives, sniper rifle found at lawmaker's home, military says
• Lawmaker says Iraqi government gives weapons to parliament members
• Car bomb in one market kills 6; hand grenade in another kills 2
• Thousands in Washington protest fourth anniversary of war's start
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraq forces raided a Sunni lawmaker's Baghdad home and found a weapons cache and seven suspected insurgents, a top Iraqi military spokesman said Sunday.

Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi spoke Sunday at a news conference in Baghdad about recent successes in the ongoing Baghdad security plan, called "Enforcing the Law."

He said Iraqi forces raided the Baghdad home of Dhafer al-Ani on March 8, where they found a weapons cache that included a sniper rifle. They also confiscated vehicles that, when tested by non-Iraqi experts, had traces of explosives.

Six of the seven men detained were released after 48 hours because there was not enough evidence to hold them, al-Moussawi said.

According to the military spokesman, the man still in custody had a sniper rifle inscribed with a verse from the Koran, the holy book of Islam: "If you shoot, it is not you who shoots, but God." It is a slogan popular with insurgents, he said.

But Dhafer al-Ani, a member of the Iraq National Accord bloc of Sunnis, told CNN he was out of the country when Iraqi forces raided his home in the Yarmouk Sunni district in western Baghdad.

Al-Ani also said six -- not seven -- of his guards were detained and only five had so far been released.

Al-Ani said he did not have a full report of what happened but said he had at least 40 Kalashnikov rifles at his home, all authorized and given to him by the Iraqi government -- one for each of his bodyguards.

The Iraqi government dispenses weapons to all members of the Iraqi parliament, he added.

Grenade, bomb, mortar attacks in Baghdad

Explosions in the Iraqi capital Sunday killed 11 people and wounded dozens of others, a Baghdad police spokesman said.

A parked car bomb exploded in a crowded market in the northeastern Baghdad neighborhood of Shaab, a predominantly Shiite area, the spokesman said. At least six civilians were killed and 28 others wounded in the blast.

In the Shorja market in central Baghdad, a hand grenade exploded killing two people and wounding one, the spokesman said. Shorja and other marketplaces in Baghdad are popular targets for insurgents.

Earlier, a roadside bomb hit an Iraqi police patrol in eastern Baghdad's Mustansriya district, the spokesman said. A police officer and a civilian died, and five police officers were wounded, he said.

A mortar round landed on a shop in central Baghdad's Fadhil district, killing one civilian and wounding another, the official said.

Meanwhile, a U.S. soldier died after being wounded in an explosion during combat operations in Iraq's Diyala province Saturday, according to the U.S. military. Five other U.S. soldiers were wounded in the attack, the military said.

In a separate incident in Anbar province, a U.S. Marine assigned to Multi-National Force-West died in combat Saturday, according to the military.

The number of U.S. military deaths in the Iraq war stands at 3,213; seven civilian contractors of the Defense Department also have been killed.

Other developments

  • Iraqi forces arrested Mahmud Hamed Kamal al-Mahdi, who allegedly helped transfer money to fund insurgent attacks, Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Mussawi said Sunday. During interrogation, the Iraqi-born al-Mahdi, aka Abu Qutada the Palestinian, acknowledged many crimes against Iraqi civilians and security forces, the general said.
  • Bombers detonated three chlorine-filled trucks in Anbar province, the U.S. military said Saturday. The attacks killed two police officers and sickened about 350 Iraqis and six coalition force members, the military said. (Watch why chlorine is easy to get in Iraq Video )
  • Thousands turned out in Washington Saturday to protest the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war's start, marching on the Pentagon from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. They were confronted by a number of supporters for the U.S. policy in Iraq. (Full story)
  • CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq and Jennifer Deaton contributed to this report.


    story.moussawi.jpg

    Iraqi Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi discusses the raid on a Sunni lawmaker's home at a news conference Sunday.

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