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American and Iraqi forces have opened a Joint Security Station in the Doura neighborhood of Baghdad, pushing forward with a key element of President Bush’s new security plan.

The JSS positions, as they are called, are in the middle of neighborhoods and designed to give ground forces a closer presence in areas of the capital prone to violence.

The Doura station will be manned by the U.S. 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment — attached to the 1st Cavalry Division — and Iraqi army and police forces.

U.S. military officials called Doura “notorious” and “one of the most dangerous parts of the capital,” and said the JSS represented a continued “focus for coalition forces trying to maintain a peace in the neighborhood.”

The first priority for U.S. troops has been cleaning up the Doura market area, officials said.

“I think that now that they see that we’re working together, it’s obviously going to benefit the entire effort between Iraqi security forces and the coalition,” 1st Sgt. Doug Maddi said of Doura residents. “When people see us together with the ISF, it’s a good thing, and as the word spreads through the community that this is here, we’ll start to get calls on the tip lines.”

Elsewhere, a combined mission of Iraqi army troops and U.S. Marines wound up with 77 suspected insurgents detained near Habbaniyah, west of the capital.

The raid targeted alleged “members of murder and intimidation cells” and was carried out by the 1st Iraqi Army Division and Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment.

At least 23 of those arrested were brought to Camp Fallujah, which has a larger military detention facility and the ability to hold suspects for longer periods of time. Some of those arrested were found with weapons.

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