Iraqi army frees 8 kidnapped sheiks



Also Monday, the Iraqi army freed eight of 10 kidnapped Iraqi tribal sheiks in a raid, Iraqi Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari said.

Two other sheiks who were abducted Sunday remained missing, said al-Askari, and the Iraqi army continues to work toward their release.

Four kidnappers were killed in the raid, which took place in Baghdad's Rusafa district on the Tigris River, the spokesman said.

The U.S. military has blamed a former Mehdi Army militia brigade commander for the sheikhs' abductions.

The commander, Arkan Hasnawi, is responsible for the kidnappings, the military said, citing intelligence sources.

The military said Hasnawi "has joined forces with Iranian-supported special groups that are rejecting [Mehdi Army leader] Muqtada al-Sadr's direction to embrace fellow Iraqis."


The story also indicates that U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Dorko, injured when an IED exploded near his vehicle. Dorko took command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region Division in Baghdad on October 10. He has been medivaced to Germany so his injuries were apparently serious.

The Story on the kidnapping of the Sheiks was big news all weekend, but unfortunately the rescue of most of them by the Iraqi army got buried in the story about a wounded general who had been in country a few weeks. For a media that has been whining about the reconciliation process, you would think that the rescue of some sheiks who were participating in it by the Iraqi army would be more significant.

Bill Roggio has more on the freeing of the sheiks and the identity of the people behind the kidnapping.


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