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Mortar barrage kills 3 in Baghdad Green Zone

  • Story Highlights
  • As many as 35 mortars fired into Green Zone in Iraqi capital
  • 30 suspects arrested in raids in three cities around Iraq
  • Cell leader captured, government official kidnapped
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Three people, including one U.S. service member, were killed Tuesday in a barrage of up to 35 mortars fired into the Green Zone in Baghdad, U.S. military and State Department officials said.

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U.S. soldiers scan their surroundings during a patrol Tuesday in Baghdad, Iraq.

A U.S. Embassy statement reported a U.S. military member, an Iraqi citizen and a third person of unknown nationality were killed.

In addition, it said, 18 people were wounded in the attack, including five U.S. citizens -- two service members and three contract employees.

The heavily fortified Green Zone is the seat of U.S. power in Iraq. It is not clear how many mortars fell, but reports said between 20 and 35.

The U.S. military on Tuesday reported nearly 30 arrests in a flurry of recent raids, including 12 linked to a "rogue" Mehdi Army militia group in Baghdad. The Mehdi Army is the militia of the populist anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

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Eleven people believed responsible for attacks using roadside bombs against Iraqi and coalition forces in southwestern Baghdad were detained in one raid. The military says the technology for the explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, comes from Iran.

In a second raid, an alleged leader of a cell responsible for several attacks on Iraqi and coalition forces was detained.

"His capture will disrupt this cell's ability to carry out death squad activities against innocent civilians," the U.S. military said.

Raids also were carried out in Mosul, Taji, and elsewhere in Baghdad.

In other incidents on Tuesday:

• Two car bombs exploded in Baghdad, wounding seven people, including three Iraqi soldiers and two police officers. The incidents occurred in the west and the southwest areas of the city.

• Col. Mouhi Hussein, an Interior Ministry official, was kidnapped by gunmen in the south-center Jadriya neighborhood of Baghdad.

• Twenty-three unidentified bodies were found dumped across Baghdad, bringing the total of unidentified bodies found in July to 162. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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