Iraq: US military captures leader of Basra `assassination squad' and aide

The US military says it has captured a Shi'ite militia leader and one of his aides during a raid in Baghdad. A military statement issued Sunday says the man allegedly commands an "assassination squad" in the southern city of Basra, counterfeits documents and is also an arms dealer with connections to Iran. It says he also arranges transportation of criminals into Iran for training, and then back into Iraq. The military says both men captured late Saturday were members of Iranian-backed "special groups." The Americans use the term to describe Shi'ite fighters defying a cease-fire order from anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Iran denies arming the extremists.