Bomb Kills One Iraqi, U.S. Troops Make Arrests

Published December 30, 2003

| Associated Press

Rebels detonated a roadside bomb as a U.S. convoy drove by in Baghdad (search) Tuesday, killing one Iraqi and wounding another, police said. Elsewhere, U.S. troops captured three suspected members of an Al Qaeda (searchlinked group and arrested three former army and intelligence officers.

No U.S. troops were injured in Tuesday's bomb attack in central Baghdad, police Maj. Khatan Jabir said.

A U.S. military Humvee was parked askew in the middle of the road shortly after the blast in the densely populated Karrada neighborhood, beside a shattered concrete median.

The explosion cracked windows on the street lined with small shops selling vegetables and groceries. People nearby said the dead man worked in a nearby store.

"They've not killed any Americans, just Iraqis as usual. We consider it terrorism," shopkeeper Karim Abbas said bitterly.

Roadside bombs have become the preferred weapon of anti-American guerrillas who cannot match the overwhelming firepower of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, where the explosive appeared to have been planted.

Earlier Tuesday, U.S. troops said they detained three former army and intelligence officers suspected of conducting anti-American attacks in a raid in Baqouba (search), north of Baghdad.

Soldiers blew up the entrance to the house to surprise the occupants.

"We had a report of a terrorist cell which has been conducting terrorist attacks on coalition forces," David Wicklund, Sgt. 1st Class of the 649th Military Police, told Associated Press Television. "We came here in the early morning hours and caught them while there were sleeping."

The men appeared to be middle-level officials of the former regime, with the highest ranking a major.

In Mosul, the military said Monday that American soldiers killed three suspected Ansar al-Islam militants during a firefight in the northern city of Mosul. Two U.S. soldiers were wounded, the military.

In the operation Sunday, suspects lobbed a grenade and started shooting as U.S. soldiers approached their house, the U.S. military said in a statement.

After the fight, U.S. troops seized two rocket-propelled grenade launchers, eight grenades and two assault rifles, the statement said. The injured soldiers were in stable condition.

Six people in the house -- a man, two women and three children -- were turned over to Iraqi police.

Most Ansar al-Islam fighters were believed to have fled their stronghold in northern Iraq before U.S. forces invaded in March. U.S. and Kurdish forces destroyed the group's main base early in the war.

Tactics of the group, believed to have ties to Osama bin Laden's terror network, have included suicide bombs, car bombs, assassinations and raids on militiamen and politicians of the secular Kurdish government in the north.

A member of the Iraqi Governing Council, meanwhile, said the interrogation of Saddam Hussein has yielded more information with the deposed leader acknowledging sending $40 billion abroad.

In remarks published Monday, the official said Saddam had provided the names of people who know where the money is.

The council is searching for the money deposited in Switzerland, Japan, Germany and other countries, council member Iyad Allawi told the London-based Arab newspapers Al-Hayat and Asharq al-Awsat.

"Saddam has started to give information on money that has been looted from Iraq and deposited abroad," Allawi told Asharq al-Awsat. "Investigation is now concentrated on his relationship with terrorist organizations and on the money paid to elements outside Iraq."

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