Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Mosque used as car bomb factory
BAGHDAD - A mosque raided by security forces in southern Baghdad contained a workshop to rig suicide car bombs, with seven vehicles ready for terror attacks, an Iraqi Defense Ministry official said Sunday.
Car bombings and remote-controlled roadside blasts have become routine in the Iraqi capital in recent weeks, including a blast Sunday that wounded two U.S. soldiers...National guard forces raided the Sunni Muslim Al Yassen Mosque in the southern Baghdad area of Abu Dshir on Saturday, said Gen. Saleh Sarhan of the Defense Ministry. In addition to seven cars rigged with explosives, the guardsmen found 30 rocket-propelled grenades, high-powered rifles, mortars and remote control detonators, Sarhan said.
''The national guard arrested the imam of the mosque,'' Sarhan said, and detained an additional 18 people suspected of involvement in the car bombings.
Anti-U.S. insurgents used 60 mosques in the city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad, to stockpile weapons and provide cover during a U.S.-led offensive against the city earlier this month, the U.S. military says. One of the mosques was described as a general arms depot capable of equipping insurgents across much of Iraq.