US army issues £1m bounty on guerrilla chief
THE United States army yesterday issued a wanted list of dozens of key figures suspected of leading the anti-coalition insurgency in Iraq, including a $1 million reward for a senior Baath Party figure believed to be running guerrilla cells.The list of 32 people included suspected leaders and former members of Saddam Hussein’s military and regional Baath leaders thought to be helping the insurgency, said Brigadier Gen Mark Kimmitt, deputy operations chief.
At the top of the list, with a $1 million reward, was Mohammed Yunis al-Ahmad, a former top official of Saddam’s Baath Party. Rewards between $50,000 and $200,000 were offered for the others.
"He is one of the former (regime) personnel we suspect of significant anti-coalition activities," Brig Gen Kimmitt said of al-Ahmad. "We have reason to believe he has been running cells in certain parts of this country."
The military has been compiling the list as it built up a better understanding of the insurgency’s structure, Kimmitt told reporters. "Some names keep popping up," he said.
After Saddam’s fall in April, the military published a list of 55 most wanted members of his regime. All but ten of them have been captured or killed.
Until now, US officials have not made public a list of suspected leaders of the insurgency that erupted after the regime’s collapse and has killed more American soldiers than the invasion that toppled Saddam.
Three US soldiers were killed and six wounded by roadside bombs in Baghdad and two cities to the north on Monday, the military announced. Four US soldiers were wounded and one insurgent was killed in a firefight on Monday which ended in the arrest of a suspected cell leader and eight others, the military said. The cell leader was not on the list released yesterday.Guerrillas have carried out a series of bloody attacks over the past week targeting Iraqi civilians and police, apparently seeking to derail US plans to hand over power to a provisional Iraqi government on 30 June.
At the same time, US administrators are facing mounting opposition to their plan to use regional caucuses to put together the new government. The method was losing support on the Iraqi Governing Council, several council members said.
"This system is alien to us," said Naseer Kamel al-Chaderchi, a Sunni Muslim. "It’s based on city councils and the integrity of these councils is in question."
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