Thursday, June 09, 2005

Iraq - 'Operation Lightning' slows insurgency

Italian aid worker Clementina Cantoni has been freed nearly a month after being taken hostage in Afghanistan, the Afghan interior ministry has said. The insurgency in Iraq has calmed in the last week as US forces along with Iraqi forces continue operations in Baghdad and elsewhere. Over 887 people are being held, according to Iraqi authorities. According to AP reports 608 mobile and 194 permanent checkpoints have been established around Baghdad since Operation Lightning began on 22 May. 40,000 US and Iraqi troops are said to be involved in Operation Lightning. And a prominent Iraqi Sunni politician has said that two insurgent groups are ready to disarm and begin talks with the Iraqi government. Former minister Ayham al-Samarie said the Islamic Army in Iraq and the Mujahideen Army, though his claims have not been verified independently.

Thursday 09/06/2005 21:10 GMT

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