Iraqi forces conducted wide-ranging raiding operations in the southern shrine city of Karbala over the weekend, local security sources told Slogger. The campaign, launched on Sunday, covered multiple sectors of Karbala city and resulted in the arrest of 27 wanted individuals, accused of various crimes against civilians including murder, abduction, and theft.
The day before, Iraqi police raided the al-'Askari area in western Karbala city, arresting 13 suspects and seizing caches of weapons and ammunition. The district is considered a stronghold of the Sadrist Current and its nominally loyal militia, the Mahdi Army.
Ministry employees cleared of IED suspicion
Police released four employees of the Iraqi Ministry of Municipalities on Thursday of last week, security sources said. The four men had been detained since the previous Sunday after Iraqi troops manning a checkpoint at the entrance to Karbala city on the Baghdad-Karbala road found an IED attached to their vehicle. Explosives specialists responded as the men were detained to deactivate the vehicle, and found that the device had been designed to detonate at a specific time, but failed to explode due to a faulty spring in the clock mechanism.
After interrogation and investigations, Iraqi police concluded that the detainees had no direct involvement in the location of the IED on their pickup truck, and therefore released the men, security sources said.
Members of IraqSlogger's network of Iraqi staff contributed to this report but choose to remain anonymous for security reasons.