Monday, June 25, 2007

Why would Al Qaeda need torture chambers?

Al-Qaeda 'execution den' uncovered in Iraq Article from: Agence France-Presse From correspondents in Baghdad June 25, 2007 04:13pm US and Iraqi forces fighting their way through the restive Iraqi town of Baquba have discovered what appears to be an al-Qaeda-run "execution house". US and Iraqi forces "discovered the execution house using information from local citizens, who said it had been used by al-Qaeda,'' a statement by the US Military said. "Soldiers searching the house found five bodies buried in the yard behind the building and bloody clothes in several rooms inside it.'' A nearby house "had been converted into an illegal prison with several numbered rooms and bars covering the building's windows. Several blindfolds were found inside,'' the statement added. The announcement comes on the sixth day of a major air and ground assault on the city of Baquba northeast of Baghdad, which US commanders say has long been a stronghold for al-Qaeda in Iraq. The operation has seen US and Iraqi forces making their way through a dense urban labyrinth of booby traps and buried bombs, with entire houses rigged with explosives by insurgents who melted away at the beginning of the assault. US and Iraqi forces have defused 52 roadside bombs and destroyed 17 "booby-trapped structures'', the statement said. "The fact that we continue to find these booby-trapped houses filled with explosives and torture chambers only reaffirms that al-Qaeda has no regard for the safety and welfare of the people of Baquba,'' Colonel Gary Patton said. Since the operation, dubbed Arrowhead Ripper began last week, US and Iraqi forces have killed at least 58 suspected al-Qaeda militants, detained another 60, the US military said. But on Friday the number two US commander in Iraq, Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno, admitted that as with past assaults most of the senior al-Qaeda leadership fled the city ahead of the invasion.

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