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Iraqi Hit Squads to Target Officials and Troops Training in Iran

Iraqi Shi'ite assassination teams are being readied in four locations in Iran, with the mission to return to Iraq and kill specific Iraqi officials before targeting US and Iraqi troops. The info comes from captured militia fighters and sources within Iraq. A senior US military intelligence officer confirmed the story under the condition of anonymity, acknowledging that disclosing the info is an attempt to pressure Iran to suspend the training and prevent militia fighters from returning to Iraq. To this end, "Wanted" posters picturing the men thought to be involved.

The fighters are expected to return to Iraq between now and October, and the US is encouraging the Iraqi government to confront Iran on the issue. It's thought that part of the reason violence has declined is that the militants have moved from Basra and Sadr City to Iran. The fighters are thought to be offshoots of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's militia having made their own groups after al-Sadr declared a cease-fire with the Iraqi government in August 2007.

Are the training pockets small and isolated incidents, or does it put the notion that the surge has worked to quell violence into question?


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