US forces raided a funeral gathering and detained 60 men suspected of links with an al-Qaida cell blamed for a spate of car bomb attacks in Baghdad, the US command said Saturday.
It was the first major roundup of suspected insurgents since US reinforcements started streaming into Baghdad last week as part of a new crackdown on violence in the capital, which has raised fears of full-scale civil war.
A statement by the US military said the arrests were made Friday in Arab Jabour, a southern neighborhood of Baghdad and a stronghold of Sunni insurgents.
The 60 detained men are believed associated with a senior Iraqi al-Qaida leader in a cell that "specializes in bomb making," the statement said.
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