Suspected al-Qaeda group arrested in northern Iraq
Eight members of a group suspected of having links to al-Qaeda have been arrested in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, a senior security official told the Iraqi website Alsumaria News on Saturday.
"A raid by police early today in the area of Bajun (45 kilometres north west of Kirkuk) resulted in detaining eight people belonging to a group calling itself the Islamic Jihad that is an offshoot of al-Qaeda," Brigadier General Sarhad Qader told the site, dpa reported.
Investigations into the suspects revealed their involvement in three bombings in Kirkuk last month, according to the site.
Kirkuk, located 250 kilometres north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, is the scene of frequent attacks targeting security personnel and civilians.
Although officials insist they are prepared to maintain security, many Iraqis are worried that armed groups may increase attacks following the withdrawal by US troops from the country earlier this month, ending nearly nine years of military involvement.