Iraq arrests 12 suspects in Baghdad church attack

Iraqi security forces arrested 12 suspected al Qaeda members on Saturday in connection with an attack on a Christian cathedral in Baghdad, a security official said.

Baghdad: Iraqi security forces arrested 12 suspected al Qaeda members on Saturday in connection with an attack on a Christian cathedral in Baghdad, a security official said.

Fifty-two hostages and police were killed when Iraqi forces tried to free more than 100 Catholics taken hostage at the Our Lady of Salvation church during Sunday mass on November 1.

The attack was the bloodiest against Iraq`s Christian minority since the 2003 US-led invasion.

General Ahmed Abu Ragheef, the Interior Ministry`s head of internal affairs, said security forces had arrested 12 al Qaeda members including one of the group`s Baghdad commanders.

"Iraqi forces have successfully arrested the terrorist group involved in the attack on the church in Baghdad," he said, adding they had an al Qaeda leader.

Ragheef said security forces seized 6.5 tonnes of explosives planned for use against a government ministry, hotels and the Christian community.

The Islamic State of Iraq, an al Qaeda affiliate, claimed responsibility for the church attack.

Bureau Report

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