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About 50 people have been detained in the past week in and near Baghdad and in northern Iraq for alleged activities including counterfeiting money, smuggling and distributing weapons and kidnapping and murder, U.S. officials say.

Eighteen people were held Saturday during operations targeting al-Qaida networks in central Iraq, according to Multi-National Force–Iraq.

Ten of them were detained north of Habbaniyah during an operation targeting associates of al-Qaida in Iraq media and propaganda operations. As the ground force cleared the area, they said they discovered ID-making materials, machine guns, rifles and ammunition.

On Friday, two insurgents were killed and 12 detained during two operations north of Muqdadiyah in Diyala province. They are allegedly associated with the leader of a large group that conducts executions in the region, including two recent ones.

On Friday and Saturday, an al-Qaida in Iraq cell leader, a suspected weapons supplier and two other insurgents were held in two separate operations in Diwaniyah, south of Hillah, and Keshkul Kabir, near As Sa’ Diyah in Diyala province.

In Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad, on Friday, Iraq Special Operations Forces detained two suspects believed responsible for kidnapping and killing Iraqi citizens and attacks on Iraqi and coalition forces.

Also on Friday, in western Mosul, an Iraqi Special Weapons and Tactics Team detained two alleged cell leaders thought responsible for financing and planning attacks against Iraq and coalition forces and for smuggling weapons.

On Thursday, coalition forces captured a suspected leader of the Iranian-backed Special Groups and eight other suspects in the Huwaysh area north of Baghdad.

Also on that day, Iraq security forces, advised by U.S. Special Forces, detained four insurgents in an operation in Barrah, in northern Nineveh province.


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