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Iraq Transition

Source: Saudi king refuses al-Maliki

Story Highlights

NEW: Saudi king believes Iraqi PM not protecting Sunnis enough, source says
• U.S.: Four suspected members of a secret terrorist training network captured
• The cell is tied to a kidnapping network in Iraq, the U.S. military said.
• A prisoner in Camp Bucca, Iraq, died after assault by other prisoners, military said
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(CNN) -- Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has denied Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki entrance into Saudi Arabia, according to a senior Saudi intelligence source.

The king believes al-Maliki, who wanted to go to Saudi Arabia on a state visit, is not doing enough to protect Sunnis from attacks by Shias, the source said.

The Saudi kingdom is a Sunni-dominated state.

There was no immediate reaction from al-Maliki's office.

Meanwhile, troops captured four suspected members of a secret terrorist training network in Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

The network takes militants from Iraq to Iran for training, and transports explosives from Iran into Iraq, the military alleges.

"Intelligence reports also indicate the secret cell has ties to a kidnapping network that conducts attacks within Iraq." the military said.

The suspects were arrested in the Baghdad Shiite stronghold of Sadr City, where support for Iran is high. The Bush administration has long insisted that Iran is helping insurgents create chaos in Iraq.

Many of the powerful, improved explosive devices used in Iraq, and the parts used to make them, have been coming out of neighboring Iran, the U.S. military said.

U.S.: Prisoner killed by other prisoners

A prisoner died after an "assault by other detainees," the U.S. military said. Authorities are investigating the cause of death at Camp Bucca, a coalition prison in southern Iraq.

At least six prisoners have died in the past year in detainee-on-detainee violence, the military reported. There are more than 19,000 prisoners in two facilities in Iraq.

Nine people were arrested in raids targeting al Qaeda in Iraq, the military said. The operations were in the northern city of Mosul, in Baghdad and in the nearby areas around Salman Pak and Ramadi.

A driver and four passengers died when their car exploded Thursday evening along the road that connects the northern cities of Tal Afar and Mosul, a Mosul police official said.

Coordinated truck bombings in Shiite districts of Tal Afar last month killed 152 people. That attack was the deadliest single attack since the start of the war and it sparked reprisal shootings in a Sunni neighborhood the next day, killing 70 people.

Three Marines were killed in combat Thursday in Anbar province, the U.S. military said. The number of U.S. military fatalities in Iraq stands at 3,337, which includes 7 civilian contractors.


SPECIAL REPORT

• Interactive: Who's who in Iraq
• Interactive: Sectarian divide
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