Iraqi security forces arrested 39 suspected members of Al-Qaeda's front group in the predominantly Sunni western province of Anbar, officials said Thursday.
The detained alleged insurgents, who apparently tried to invite foreign fighters into Iraq, were paraded in a televised news conference attended by Interior Minister Jawad Bolani and several generals.
"Security forces arrested 39 Al-Qaeda members who run terrorist operations in Anbar and also support other criminal operations in Baghdad, and who also tried to invite foreign Al-Qaeda fighters to Iraq," Bolani said.
Neither Bolani nor any of the Iraqi generals present detailed any operations the group were plotting, whether any munitions or equipment were seized or when the raids that led to the arrests were conducted.
On Saturday, the interior ministry said security forces apprehended 12 Al-Qaeda militants suspected of helping to take Christians hostage in an October 31 church siege that left 44 worshippers and two priests dead.