The Iraqi government says 40-thousand Iraqi security personnel will surround Baghdad next week and search the capital for insurgents. Officials say the troops will set up hundreds of checkpoints inside Baghdad before taking the operation to other parts of Iraq. They announced the plan on Thursday after insurgent attacks killed more than 600 people across Iraq in the last four weeks. West of Baghdad,
US and Iraqi troops continue sweeping the city of Haditha. The US military says ten insurgents and a U.S. Marine have been killed. Elsewhere, insurgents killed at least 15 Iraqis in bombings and shootings Thursday.
Meanwhile, Iraq's interior minister said he received credible information five days ago that wanted terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been wounded. Islamist websites have posted conflicting statements about whether a deputy has been appointed to lead Zarqawi's group (al-Qaida in Iraq,) until he recovers.