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Iraqi, U.S. forces target insurgents in 7 mosque raids

Iraqi security forces backed by U.S. troops on Tuesday raided seven mosques in the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, west of Baghdad. U.S. officials said the mosques were being used to harbor militants and store weapons. The raids were part of stepped-up operations across a wide swath of the “Sunni Triangle”, an area of rebellious Sunni Muslims north and west of the capital. It was the second straight day that Iraqi and U.S. forces targeted insurgents in mosques. “These raids sent a clear message to insurgents that they can no longer use mosques as safe havens,” Brig. Gen. Joseph Dunford, assistant commander of the 1st Marine Division, said in a statement. On Tuesday, U.S. forces launched airstrikes on a mosque in Hit, also west of Baghdad, after insurgents fired at Marines from the building. In Ramadi, Iraqi forces entered mosques to search for and clear out weapons. Full Story

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