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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 June, 2005, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK
Iraqis held over soldier deaths
L/Cpl Alan Brackenbury
L/Cpl Brackenbury was the 88th British solider to die in Iraq
Insurgents suspected of involvement in two roadside bomb attacks which killed two British soldiers in Iraq have been arrested, the Ministry of Defence says.

Troops from the Staffordshire regiment arrested "less than five" suspects during dawn raids on Sunday.

Lance Corporal Alan Brackenbury, 21, from Goole, East Yorkshire, was killed in Al Amara on 29 May.

Guardsman Anthony Wakefield, 24, of the 1st Battalion The Coldstream Guards, died in the same area just days before.

'Specific suspects'

The MOD said the operations, carried out by Task Force Maysan, had also recovered 130 detonators and other bomb-making equipment.

A spokesman said the raids took place in Al Marjarr Al Kabira, close to Al Amara, in Maysan province.

"Those targeted were suspected of being involved in recent attacks which claimed the lives of two UK soldiers, Guardsman Wakefield and Lance Corporal Brackenbury, in May 2005.

"The aim of the operation was to arrest a small number of specific suspects, all of whom are believed to be Iraqi citizens."

He said British troops had not encountered any hostile action during the operation.

'Terrorist elements'

"Careful consideration was given to the planning and execution of the operation in order to minimise disruption to innocent civilians," the spokesman said.

"It should be emphasised that the vast majority of the citizens of Maysan province are not involved in any way with the terrorist elements that reside within their community."

Intelligence experts are currently analysing equipment and information captured during the raids.

It is thought the men will be handed over to the Iraqi Police Force (IPS) once they have been questioned by military investigators.

The raids come hours after US troops revealed they killed 40 suspected insurgents in air and ground strikes close to the Syrian border in western Iraq.

Watch footage of the dawn raids in Iraq



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