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RAMADI, Iraq — About a half-dozen people have been apprehended in connection with last week’s killing of Sunni tribal leader Sheik Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, a U.S. military leader said Thursday.

Some suspects are being held at the U.S. base in Ramadi; others were captured and held near Balad, said Col. John Charlton, commander of U.S. forces in Ramadi.

The Ministry of Interior and U.S. forces are conducting a joint investigation, and detainees likely will be handed over to Iraqi custody within a week, he said.

In the meantime, U.S. forces are facilitating MOI visits while the detainees are being held at Ramadi, Charlton said.

“We want to make sure they don’t think we’re shielding these guys,” Charlton said. “The insurgents committed a crime against all Iraqis and we all want to see justice done in the Iraqi system.”

Coalition forces also captured Fallah Khalifa Hiyas Fayyas al-Jumayli, known as Abu Khamis, plus three others in a raid two days after Sattar was killed, according to a Multi-National Force-Iraq press release.

The release called al-Jumayli a “planner” in the assassination and said that “intelligence reports indicate he is involved in a plot to kill key leaders in the tribal awakening, that he is responsible for car bomb and suicide vest attacks in Anbar Province, and is closely allied with senior al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders in the region.”

Sattar and two others were killed Sept. 13 when two bombs detonated on his Ramadi compound, 10 days after meeting with President Bush in Anbar province.


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