US hold 41 over attack on Spanish officers

11 December 2003
The US military on 10 December announced that it was holding 41 Iraqis in connection with the killing of eight Spanish intelligence officers on 29 November. The arrests came during a series of 18 raids - part of operation Panther Squeeze - in Latifiya, some 30 kilometres north of Baghdad, which were carried out with intelligence from US, UK and Spanish forces and the help of Iraqi police. No coalition troops were injured in the operation. 'During the raids, 15 primary targets were captured with a total of 41 enemy personnel taken for questioning,' said a US military spokesman after the raid. 'Those captured included the cell leader Abu Abdullah, an intelligence officer, a financier, doctors who treat terrorists so they can avoid treatment at local hospitals, and the actual attackers.' (MEED 2:12:03)

Spanish Defence Minister Federico Trillo said on 10 December that five men had been arrested in Baghdad over the assassination of a Spanish military attaché in Iraq, Antonio Bernal Gomez, on 9 October.

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