BAGHDAD, Iraq – The U.S. military said Friday it had detained a senior leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq and three other suspected insurgents in raids northeast of Baghdad, near where Al Qaeda chief Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. air raid earlier this month.
The chief suspect reportedly was a senior Al Qaeda cell leader in central Iraq, north of the capital, and was known to be involved in helping foreign fighters.
Coalition forces raided multiple buildings on Monday and detained the "known terrorist" and the three others without incident, according to the military statement.
Several women and children were at the raid sites, but they were not injured and were allowed to return to their homes once troops secured the area, it said.
Also Friday, the U.S. military said it killed four foreign insurgents, including two who had 15 pound homicide bombs strapped to their bodies, in a raid north of Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad.
The military said an insurgent thought to be an Iraqi also was killed in the raid, which was launched on information from a suspected arrested in the region in previous days.
"Intelligence indicated that the area is saturated with numerous weapons caches, some of them rigged with explosives. The terrorists were observed earlier in the day loading suspected weapons in trucks and moving them to isolated areas," the military statement said.