Iraqi forces storm Qaeda camp in Mosul

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By Samer Saaid

Azzaman, February 14, 2013

A police force has stormed a camp in northern Iraq, where al-Qaeda members had piled weapons, explosives, car bombs and fuel trucks.

The camp is located in Jazira, a plateau to the north west of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

“The camp was administered by al-Qaeda. It included workshops for the manufacture of explosive belts and car bombs. There were many fuel trucks as well,” a police source said.

The source, refusing to be named, said the trucks were used by Qaeda to smuggle fuel abroad. Smuggling is one way of how the group raises money.

At least three truck drivers were arrested when a federal police force stormed the camp, said the source.

Mosul, the capital of the Province of Nineveh, is one of the few remaining major Iraqi cities lacking normalcy.

Qaeda and other insurgent groups are active in the city and outlying districts. Explosions, assassinations and attacks on government troops frequently occur in the city, Iraq’s second largest.

The source did not say whether the camp was used for training by Qaeda and whether there had been any arrests apart from the two drivers.

There has been relative lull in violence across the country, particularly in central Iraq, where Qaeda has been most active.

Analysts say many Qaeda operatives have migrated to Syria to join counterparts in the fight against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.