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Central Command: Iraq raid went house to house

U.S.: 4th Infantry was tipped off to forces in town

From Barbara Starr
CNN Pentagon Correspondent

U.S. soldiers take detainees during an early-morning raid on Thusday in the town of Al Door.
U.S. soldiers take detainees during an early-morning raid on Thusday in the town of Al Door.

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. Central Command is now providing more details of a raid Thursday in a village of Al Door, a small town north of Baghdad. Originally, the military had erroneously indicated the town was near Tikrit.

Officials Friday confirmed 250 Iraqis were initially taken into custody, but after initial questioning only about 50 were retained. It was also confirmed that among the detainees was Adil Abdallah Mahdi Al Duri Al-Tikriti, a district Baath party official, and number 33 on a U.S. most-wanted list.

The raid was conducted by several hundred troops from the 4th Infantry Division. No U.S. troops were injured.

The 4th Infantry Division troops sealed off the town and, according to military officials, went from house to house, taking people into custody as they went. The operation had been planned for several days following tips that there were enemy forces in the town.

The raid was one of several conducted by U.S. troops around Iraq in recent days, described Friday by Central Command.

• Wednesday, Central Command said, V Corps soldiers raided an arms market in Fallujah, about 60 miles east of Baghdad, killing a suspected arms dealer after he tried to kill one of the Americans.

• Also Wednesday, in Baquabah, near the Iranian border northeast of Baghdad, Central Command said, soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division raided a building in which Iraqis were suspected of running a "shadow" government. The troops arrested 15 Iraqis and confiscated weapons and communications equipment.

U.S. forces are under increasing public pressure, both in Iraq and in the U.S., to rein in lawlessness around Iraq.

Coalition troops have been conducting joint patrols with Iraqi police officers in several cities.

Friday, Central Command said that 9,358 Iraqi policemen are back at work in the zone controlled by the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force -- Iraqi territory southeast of Baghdad. It said that's about half what's required to bring law enforcement back to full strength.

Local police forces are even thinner in Baghdad and areas to the north and east, all territory controlled by the U.S. V Corps. Central Command said that in those areas, 8,626 Iraqi policemen are back at work, 20 percent of full strength.

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