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Monday, July 19, 2010     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Al Qaida attack kills 52 anti-Al Qaida forces waiting in line for paychecks

BAGHDAD — After a lull of more than a month, Al Qaida has resumed mass-casualty strikes on Iraq's military.


A suicide bomber said to have been sent by Al Qaida blew himself up outside an Iraq Army office near Baghdad on July 18. Officials said at least 52 people, most of them lined up to receive their monthly salaries, were killed.

The attack took place in Radwaniya, located west of Baghdad, Middle East Newsline reported. Officials said most of the casualties were members of the U.S.-sponsored Al Sahwa auxiliary police force, formed to fight Al Qaida.

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Officials said at least 40 of the casualties were Sahwa personnel, with two army soldiers also killed. They said the Al Qaida in Iraq, or AQI, network was believed responsible for the strike.

A Sahwa commander, Mohammed Al Anbari, did not rule out that Al Qaida recruited a member of the force to attack his colleages. Al Anbari said no strangers had been seen waiting on line for their paychecks.

In a second strike, a suicide bomber blew himself up during a meeting of Sahwa commanders in the Anbar province near the border with Syria. No other information was released.

The suicide bombings took place amid an Iraqi offensive against AQI in the north. On July 16, security forces were said to have arrested 17 suspected insurgents in an operation near the village of Biaj.

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