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Military raids target terrorist cells in Iraq

  • Story Highlights
  • Forces kill suspected terrorist in raid targeting al Qaeda in Iraq
  • Other raids target suspected terrorists thought to have links to Quds Force
  • U.S. military says Iran's Quds Force has provided training for militants in Iraq
  • Bomb kills two U.S. soldiers in southern Baghdad
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- U.S.-led coalition forces killed a suspected terrorist and detained nine others in raids targeting al Qaeda in Iraq, a military statement released Thursday said.

Children look at damage inside their Sadr City home, which was allegedly raided by U.S. and Iraqi forces.

An operation west of Baghdad on Thursday focused on a cell making roadside bombs. Coalition forces killed one person and wounded another, the statement said. Three suspected were detained.

Coalition forces detained another suspected al Qaeda terrorist in a separate raid in the Tarmiya area Thursday.

"We're continuing to target all levels of the al Qaeda in Iraq organization and are disrupting both their leadership structure and operations," said U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Garver.

In raids Wednesday, forces captured a man suspected of being the al Qaeda in Iraq administrative emir for a Baghdad neighborhood. He is thought to handle logistics and financing for terrorist cells in the area. Three people believed to be his associates were also detained.

Militant dies in Sadr City raid

Troops killed a militant and detained six people in two raids in Sadr City on Thursday. The raids were targeting suspected terrorists thought to have links to Iranian elements, the U.S. military said.

Intelligence reports indicate that the suspected terrorists being targeted are connected to other key leaders of terrorists cells. They are also suspected of having ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps - Quds Forces, the military said.

The military launched the operations "to capture or kill terrorists suspected of providing logistical support to insurgent groups."

"Coalition troops will continue to target terrorists who have a penchant for killing coalition forces, Iraqi security forces and innocent Iraqis." said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesman. "Coalition forces will target secret cells wherever they are."

In Sadr City, a densely populated Shiite slum, there is much grass-roots support for Iran and anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

The U.S. military for months has been saying that Iran's Quds Force has been providing training and munitions to militants in Iraq. Iran has denied such involvement, and the United States has not been able to provide evidence that such activity is approved by Iran's top leaders.

The military says components for roadside bombs make their way from Iran to Iraq, where they are assembled and used.

A U.S. military commander last week said that much of the indirect fire aimed toward the Green Zone, the heavily fortified seat of U.S. power in Iraq, is carried out with munitions originating from Iran and is shot from places in and around Sadr City.

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A March arrest of a Hezbollah militia operative in the Iraqi city of Basra underscores the U.S. concerns about Iran, which backs the Lebanese militia group.

Ali Mussa Daqduq, a Hezbollah explosives expert, played a key role in the January 20 attack that killed five American troops in Karbala, a southern Iraqi city that is one of the most revered to Shiites, the U.S. military said.

Car bomb kills at least 17

A car bomb targeting people gathering for a wedding killed 17 people and wounded 28, an Interior Ministry official said.

The blast went off in the southern Baghdad district of Dora.

In northern Iraq, attackers targeting local police and soldiers have killed three people over the last 24 hours, police in Iraq told CNN on Thursday.

A roadside bomb struck a police patrol in Kirkuk, killing a civilian and wounding four people Thursday, police said. Two of the wounded were police.

A roadside bomb on Wednesday struck an Iraqi Army patrol in the Kurdish town of Suleiman Bek, about 50 miles south of Kirkuk. One soldier was killed and three others were wounded in this attack.

Gunmen near Tikrit in northern Iraq on Wednesday shot and killed an Iraqi soldier returning home from work. The incident occurred in Alam, just west of Tikrit.

Also, the Interior Ministry reported that 16 slain bodies were found dumped across Baghdad on Wednesday.

This brings the total of unidentified bodies found in the capital during July to 65.

Other developments

  • A bomb killed two U.S. soldiers in southern Baghdad on Thursday, the U.S. military said. Two other soldiers were wounded. The number of U.S. military deaths in the Iraq war stands at 3,584. Seven civilian contractors to the U.S. military have also died since the 2003 invasion.
  • Two U.S. soldiers were killed and two were wounded Thursday by a bomb in southern Baghdad, the U.S. military said. It said an "an explosively formed projectile detonated near their patrol during combat operations." The U.S. military contends that components for explosively formed projectiles (also called explosively formed penetrators) are brought into Iraq from Iran. The number of U.S. troops deaths in Iraq this month is now 13. The number of American military killed in the Iraq war now stands at 3,591.
  • A helicopter that went down in northern Iraq on Wednesday apparently hit electrical wires and was not shot down, the U.S. military said. One Task Force Lightning soldier died and another soldier was injured in the incident, which occurred in Nineveh province, where Mosul and Tal Afar are located. The investigation is ongoing, the military said in a statement issued Thursday.
  • American-led coalition forces battling insurgents in Iraq's Diyala province near Baghdad killed 25 insurgents in a three-day operation, the U.S. military said Wednesday. The effort, which lasted from Saturday to Monday, occurred near Mukhisa on the northeastern outskirts of Baquba -- capital of Diyala -- the sprawling province north and east of Baghdad that has become a refuge for al Qaeda in Iraq and a major battleground in the Iraq war.
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    CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq and Saad Abedine contributed to this report.

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