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American and Iraqi forces have continued the new security push in Baghdad by conducting hundreds of raids over the past several days in the Adhamiyah district of the capital, officials said Friday.

According to officials with Multi-National Division-Baghdad, the troops began “clearing operations” in the Shaab and Ur neighborhoods on Tuesday. By Friday, those troops had searched more than 3,000 buildings, arrested five suspected insurgents and seized several weapons.

The American units leading the push are assigned to the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, and the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

The aim, U.S. officials said, is to “significantly reduce sectarian violence and diminish tensions through engagement of political, security forces, tribal and religious leaders.”

“We’re conducting detailed searches in areas that are known — or suspected to — harbor terrorists,” Col. Steve Townsend, commander of the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, said in a news release. “All areas will get thorough assessments — patrol down every street, talk to every shop owner and engage the populations at every opportunity to get atmospherics of the area.”

In conjunction with the raids, senior officials from the Iraqi National Police have been meeting with neighborhood advisory council members, sheiks and civic leaders to explain the operations and try to prevent attacks.

Dubbed “Operation Law and Order,” the effort is aimed at reducing sectarian violence.


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