Raid misses most wanted Iraqi guerilla leader

US soldiers carried out a pre-dawn raid on a remote Iraqi village near the Iranian border, but failed to capture a top fugitive suspected of plotting guerrilla attacks on American forces.

US soldiers carried out a pre-dawn raid on a remote Iraqi village near the Iranian border, but failed to capture a top fugitive suspected of plotting guerrilla attacks on American forces.

In Basra, British troops restored badly needed electricity to parts of the southern city and supervised distribution of petrol after two days of protests over fuel and power shortages.

In northern Iraq, guerrillas ambushed US troops yesterday, wounding three American soldiers. In central Baghdad, two grenades were thrown from a car at a US military checkpoint, and soldiers returned fire, killing one Iraqi.

Also yesterday, authorities said a US military policeman on patrol north of Baghdad was killed by a bomb explosion the previous day.

Calm returned to Basra yesterday after riots during which Iraqis hurled rocks and bricks at British troops to protest at fuel, electricity and water shortages.

British military spokesman Capt Hisham Halawi said coalition authorities began restoring electricity to the city late on Sunday and were bringing more than six million gallons of fuel to Basra.

“When the people get what they want they are peaceful, but if they don’t, the British will see something else,” warned Nors Mhibs, 60, who had been waiting for hours at a petrol station in central Basra.

“I have six sons, I have six guns and I have an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade). I can make trouble any time.”

Yesterday’s raid in Ain Lalin missed its main target, a former member of Saddam Hussein’s regime who is on the US list of 55 Most Wanted Iraqis, US Lt Col Mark Young said.

Seventy suspects were taken into custody, he said. Ain Lalin is 60 miles north-east of Baghdad.

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