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NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Baghdad, 21 June (AKI) - Sources in Ramadi in the restive al-Anbar province report that large groups of armed foreign militants are fleeing towards the Syrian border, as US and Iraqi forces tighten their siege on the city. Ramadi, some 100 kilometres west of Baghdad, is a stronghold of the insurgency and there are reports of many residents also fleeing in fear of an assault. Sources told Adnkronos International (AKI) that local tribes were also pursuing foreign terrorists "because of the immense damage they have done to infrastructure and the bad name they have given the insurgency by terror attacks against innocent civilians."

The sources added that "the armed men are heading towards the highlands near the Euphrates in an effort to find a secure refuge," emphasising that "the murder of the head of the Karabila tribe, Osama al-Jadaan, in al-Mansour last month, by al-Qaeda operators, triggered a vendetta by his relatives and followers."

This episode, the sources said, "will make the border area where the tribe of the victim lives an unsafe area for these militants." What's more, "there is close collaboration between the members of this tribe and the US and Iraqi forces regarding the elimination of terrorists and the liberation of the zone from this tragic presence."

The same sources indicated that in recent days "the American and Iraqi forces have launched an assault campaign on areas of the city of Ramadi, especially the neighbourhood around the stadium, with loud speaker announcements that they have captured various terrorists hiding there" and warning that the operation will continue until they have identified and captured all their targets.

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