Special report: Tension escalates in Iraq
TIKRIT, Iraq, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi security forces backed by the U.S. aircraft raided insurgents' hideouts in Salahudin province on Saturday, killing 10 suspected insurgents, including a local leader, and capturing four others, a provincial police officer said.
A joint force from the Iraqi army and police and fighters from local anti-Qaida Awakening Council group carried out a raid at dawn on the open areas near the al-Thirthar Lake, west of Samarra city, 120 km north of Baghdad, Col. Hassan Ahmad told Xinhua.
The raid resulted in the killing of 10 insurgents, including six non-Iraqi Arab nationals, and the capturing of four others, Ahmad said.
Among the killed was Abdul Basit al-Nissani, a local leader of the al-Qaida in Iraq network, who blew himself up after he was surrounded by the security forces while crossing a small river, he said.
There were no casualties among the joint troops who also confiscated a large amount of weapons and ammunition during the raid, Ahmad said.
The targeting area was used by the al-Qaida militants to conduct attacks against civilians and Iraqi security forces.
Armed groups, including al-Qaida, which were active in the swath stretching from the city of Samarra to the Thirthar Lake, northwest of Baghdad, has long been out of the control of the Iraqi security forces before the major operation against them in the area.