Iraqi reinforcements arrive in Mosul for strike against al-Qaida

Iraqi army reinforcements moved Sunday into positions near the northern city of Mosul, ready to strike al-Qaida in Iraq targets in their last urban stronghold, a top Iraqi officer said. Maj. Gen. Riyad Jalal, a senior officer in the Mosul region, said the additional forces were encamping in an Iraqi base near the city, and would open an offensive against al-Qaida fighters "immediately after all the added troops arrive." Iraqi and US officials have not said how many additional soldiers were headed toward Iraq's third largest city, an important trade and transportation hub, after a massive bombing there last week badly damaged a poor neighborhood, killing 38 and wounding more than 200. A senior police official was killed the next day inspecting the damage. Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari said most army reinforcements had reached the city, 362 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad.