U.S.-Iraqi Sweep Continues

March 18, 2006 - Posted at 9:10 p.m. CST

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ American and Iraqi troops continue to round

up suspected insurgents during Operation Swarmer.

It's the third day of the sweep through a 100-square-mile Sunni

-dominated area northeast of Samarra.

Troops rounded up dozens more suspected insurgents today,

including the alleged killers of an Iraqi television journalist.

So far, Iraqi soldiers and units of the 101st Airborne Division

have detained about 80 suspected insurgents. Seventeen have been

released.

The security net thrown down by Swarmer has angered residents of

the area. One leader calls it a needless ``escalation'' at a time

of difficult negotiations over forming a unity government.

In Baghdad, meanwhile, a dozen more bodies have been found.

Also, police there say they have captured a Sunni extremist who

confessed to leading a gang that killed hundreds of Shiites

in recent months.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)