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Iraqi, U.S. troops detain senior official in southern Iraq
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21:05, October 18, 2007

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U.S. and Iraqi forces detained a provincial council member who is suspected of facilitating terrorist attacks during an operation in the southern city of Diwaniyah, the U.S. military said on Thursday.

The alleged terrorist, who has an active warrant for his arrest, is believed to routinely use his government position in order to support criminal terrorists in the local area, the military said in a statement.

The detainee is also accused of using his influence to release militants from jail and helped them to obtain jobs in the Iraqi security forces, it added.

On Wednesday, a police source from Diwaniyah, some 180 km south of Baghdad, said that Iraqi security forces have arrested Muhammad Abdul Hussein, a member of Diwaniyah provincial council on charges of involvement in armed attacks while on his way home in the city.

He said that Hussein, who is also a member of Shiite movement loyal to radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, was arrested according to a warrant issued by a Diwaniyah court on charges of involvement in armed attacks.

Diwaniyah, the capital of the al-Qadsiyah province, has been a flashpoint for rival Shiite factions battling for supremacy in the region.

It has also regularly seen heavy clashes between Shiite militiamen with U.S. troops and Iraqi security forces.

Source: Xinhua

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