Baghdad Collars 1,000 in al-Qaeda Offensive

Mosul, Nineveh center of crackdown
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2008 3:34 PM CDT
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, left, arrives in Mosul, Iraq, Wednesday, May 14, 2008.   (AP Photo/Emad Matti)
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(Newser) – Iraqi forces have detained over 1,000 suspected militants in a massive push to drive al-Qaeda out of northern Iraq, Reuters reports. The crackdown centers on Mosul, al-Qaeda’s last major urban foothold. “This operation will last until we finish off all the terrorist remnants and outlaws,” said the Iraqi general leading the charge.

Nouri al-Maliki meanwhile returned to Baghdad, after spending several days with the troops. Yesterday, he offered amnesty and an unspecified cash reward to any militants who turned over their guns, provided they hadn’t killed anyone. The defense ministry says scores have turned over weapons, while 1,068 suspected militants have been detained.