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US troops arrest Iraqi govt forces, find bunker

Written by: Staff
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BAGHDAD, Mar 26 (Reuters) US troops today arrested at least 40 Iraqi Interior Ministry forces who were holding 17 foreigners in a secret bunker complex, political sources said.

A Reuters reporter who approached the bunker complex today was turned away by Shi'ite militiamen.

It was not clear who the foreigners were but the Shi'ite-led Iraqi government has launched a crackdown on Sunni foreign fighters from Arab states it accuses of carrying out suicide bombings which have killed thousands of mostly Shi'ite Iraqis.

U.S. troops last year found 173 mostly Sunni Arab prisoners held in a secret Interior Ministry bunker. They showed signs of torture and malnourishment in a scandal that embarrassed the government.

Sunni Arab leaders accuse Interior Ministry forces of working alongside Shi'ite militias who run death squads, a charge the ministry denies.

Reuters PDS VP0017

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