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U.S. Soldiers Target Financier of Iraqi Guerrillas

U.S. Soldiers Target Financier of Iraqi Guerrillas

Posted - Dec. 8, 2003 at 7:17 a.m.



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BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- U.S. troops north of Baghdad seized $1.9 million in cash and false identification documents in a raid targeting the suspected financier of insurgents, the U.S. military said Monday. American soldiers also raided a neighborhood in the northern city of Mosul, witnesses said.

U.S. troops in Samarra seized the cash and arrested one person in the operation Sunday, said Maj. Josslyn Aberle, spokeswoman for the 4th Infantry Division.

"They didn't catch the original target but they detained one of his relatives and seized the money," Aberle said.

Samarra, some 70 miles north of Baghdad, was the site of heavy fighting Nov. 30 between Iraqi guerrillas and U.S. soldiers who were delivering new Iraqi currency to local banks.

Witnesses in Mosul, about 250 miles north of Baghdad, said U.S. soldiers cordoned off a large area of the city.

Dozens of U.S. troops cordoned off the city's central neighborhood of al-Muthana, inspecting cars and searching people walking in the streets. At least three helicopters flew overhead at low altitude.

"We are looking for bad guys," a soldier said without elaborating.

In Mosul on Sunday, a soldier from the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division died and two others in his unit were wounded when rebels detonated a bomb as their convoy drove by.

Near Kirkuk, another northern city, Iraqi police on Monday said they discovered a cache of 100 mortar rounds and other ammunition in a garbage dump after a tip from garbage collectors. American troops later arrived and took away the weapons.

The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, warned of a surge in attacks against coalition forces before a July 1 deadline to transfer authority to Iraqis, and cautioned that strikes might not end even if troops kill or capture Saddam Hussein.

Sanchez said Sunday attacks could increase ahead of a July 1 deadline for a transfer of authority from the U.S.-led coalition to a transitional Iraqi government.

"We expect to see an increase in violence as we move forward toward sovereignty at the end of June," Sanchez said.

"The killing or capturing of Saddam Hussein will have an impact on the level of violence, but it will not end it," he said. "It won't be the end-all solution."

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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