August 13, 2007 / 1:31 PM / 12 years ago

Mosque raided as U.S., Iraqi forces seek soldiers

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. and Iraqi forces detained 22 people in operations on Saturday which included Iraqi soldiers entering a mosque in search of information about two soldiers abducted in May, the U.S. military said on Monday.

U.S. soldiers were airlifted across the Euphrates River by helicopter to Yusufiya, a town just south of Baghdad, where they surrounded the mosque, the military said in a statement.

Iraqi forces then entered the mosque while the Americans remained outside.

“They detained 22 suspected terrorists, including four that had fired upon them as they entered the area,” the statement said.

The two missing U.S. soldiers, Specialist Alex Jimenez and Private Byron Fouty, were abducted along with a third soldier, whose body was later pulled from the Euphrates, after an attack on their patrol in Yusufiya on May 12.

Four U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi translator were killed in the attack.

U.S. forces found the missing men’s identity cards during a raid in Samarra north of Baghdad in June, days after Sunni Islamist al Qaeda released a video saying it had killed them.

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