Saturday, November 24, 2007
The Associated Press reports that Authorities imposed a daylong curfew in Kerkuk and surrounding areas on Saturday as Iraqi security forces launched a major offensive against militants amid rising violence in the oil-rich area.
Acting on intelligence, more than 1,000 Iraqi police and army soldiers poured into the streets of the violence-plagued city "We have begun Operation Revolutionary Eagle to get rid of terrorism in our city, to detain terrorists and lawbreakers, to control the car bombs and the roadside bombs, and to achieve security in this province," said Maj. Gen. Jamal Tahir Bakir, the chief of police for the surrounding Tamim province.
Authorities said the curfew would last from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. as security forces went house-to-house, seizing weapons and searching for militants and signs of car bombs believed to have been smuggled into the city.
The local police chief in the provincial capital of Kerkuk, Maj. Gen. Torhan Abdul-Rahman, said 22 wanted militants and 11 other suspects had been detained late Friday in Hawija, which is south of Kerkuk.
Abdul-Rahman declined to discuss results from Saturday's operations until it was finished.
Kerkuk has seen a recent rise in violence that authorities have blamed in part on insurgents who fled security crackdowns in Baghdad and surrounding areas as well as an argument over the city's status.