Christian Action Network

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Al-Qaida front group issues statement warning U.S. forces for stop searching for several missing soldiers

(APW) An al-Qaida front group that claims it has captured several missing American soldiers issued a statement Monday warning the U.S. military to stop searching for them, and suggested it launched the attack on the soldiers’ convoy to seek retribution for the rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in the same area of Iraq a year ago. 

The U.S. military also said for the first time it believes the soldiers were abducted by al-Qaida-linked militants after an attack that included three roadside bombs. 

“What you are doing in searching for your soldiers will lead to nothing but exhaustion and headaches. Your soldiers are in our hands. If you want their safety, do not look for them,” the Islamic State of Iraq said on a militant Web site. 

“You should remember what you have done to our sister Abeer in the same area,” the statement said, referring to five American soldiers who were charged in the rape and killing of 14-year-old Abeer Qassim al-Janabi and the killings of her parents and her younger sister last year. 

The crime in the city of Mahmoudiya was one of the most shocking atrocities committed by U.S. troops in the Iraq war. Three soldiers have pleaded guilty in the case. 

Three U.S. soldiers have been missing since Saturday, since a deadly attack on their convoy in Mahmoudiya, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Baghdad. The attack also killed four U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi army soldier, according to a statement by the military, which earlier had said the Iraqi was an interpreter. 

On Sunday, the Islamic State of Iraq claimed that it had captured U.S soldiers in the deadly attack in the Sunni area, which is known as the “triangle of death” and is an al-Qaida stronghold. 

If the claim proves true, it would mark one of the most brazen attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq, a coalition of eight insurgent groups, including al-Qaida in Iraq. 

About 4,000 U.S. troops backed by aircraft, intelligence units and Iraqi forces have been scouring the farming area around Mahmoudiya and the nearby town of Youssifiyah for three days, as the military promised to make every effort available to find the missing soldiers. 

On Monday, U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell, IV said: “At this time, we believe they (the three soldiers) were abducted by terrorists belonging to al Qaida or an affiliated group, and this assessment is based on highly credible intelligence information.” 

Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, another U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, pointed out earlier Monday that the terror network also had claimed responsibility for killing two U.S. soldiers whose mutilated bodies were found after they went missing in the same area last year. 

In another attack on Monday, two U.S. soldiers on a foot patrol southeast of Baghdad were killed when they came under attack from gunfire, the military said in a statement. 

A roadside bomb near the southern city of Basra also killed one Danish soldier and wounded five, according to Maj. Kim Gruenberger of the Danish Army Operational Command. An Iraqi translator also was wounded. 

Seven Danish soldiers have been killed in Iraq since the war began. In February, the Danish government said it would withdraw its 460-member contingent from Basra by August and replace it with a smaller helicopter unit. 

In Mahmoudiyah, residents complained on Monday that coalition forces had searched through their homes, and AP Television News footage showed on one apartment that appeared to have been ransacked in the search. 

One man said three residents in the area, including two guards at a local mosque, had been detained by coalition forces, but that could not be immediately confirmed. 

U.S. and Iraqi forces also exchanged fire with gunmen near the town of Youssifiyah during the house-to-house search operation for the missing American soldiers, killing two suspected insurgents and injuring four others, a top Iraqi army officer in the area said. 

He said the fighting began at about 3:30 a.m. and lasted for about 30 minutes. The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to security concerns, said the coalition’s search operation in the region has detained more than 100 suspects. The U.S. military did not immediately comment on the report. 

Deadly violence also struck other areas of Iraq on Monday. 

The worst attack occurred in the Diyala capital of Baqouba, 60 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of Baghdad, when gunmen in two cars opened fire on a police checkpoint, killing three policemen and two civilians, police said. Two policemen and four civilians were wounded in the 9:30 a.m. attack, which ended when the assailants fled the scene, police said. 

On Sunday, five civilians were killed execution style on the streets of Baquoba by gunmen who appeared to be accusing them of collaborating with the U.S.-led coalition. 

The U.S. military has noted an uptick in violence in the volatile region and sent 3,000 additional forces to try to tame the violence. 

In other violence reported by police: 

Three mortar rounds hit an outdoor market in Zafaraniyah, a Shiite section of southeast Baghdad, killing three civilians and wounding nine. 

A car bomb exploded in a parking lot in the mainly Shiite neighborhood of Karradah in central Baghdad, killing three people and wounding two. 

A parked car bomb exploded near a police patrol in Palestine Street, a commercial area in eastern Baghdad, killing two policemen and a civilian, and wounding three policemen and four civilians. 

In Suwayrah, 25 miles south of the capital, police dragged two unidentified, bullet-riddled bodies of a man and a women in their 40s from the Tigris River. Like many other victims of such killings in Iraq, they were handcuffed with their legs tied together. 

At 11:30 p.m. Sunday, gunmen apparently disguised as Iraqi soldiers broke into the house of a Sunni family at the Shiite-dominated al-Wihda district, 32 kilometers (20 miles) south of Baghdad, killing two men and wounding four others, included a 6-year-old child.

May 15, 2007 - Posted by | Blogroll, news, personal, politics, random, religion, Terrorism, Terrorism In The U.S., Terrorism News, Uncategorized, War-On-Terror

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