U.S. forces are making a military and multimedia blitz in and around Baghdad to find the three American soldiers missing since last weekend. Planes dropped leaflets offering a $200,000 reward, the same message was broadcast over loudspeakers and local radio, and hundreds of Iraqis have been held for questioning in recent days, according to the Los Angeles Times.
At least 460 people were held for questioning, although an undisclosed number have been released, the U.S. military said. About 4,000 U.S. troops continued to sweep the orchards and farmland around Mahmoudiya, 20 miles southwest of Baghdad.
“Literally hundreds have been picked up for questioning and after are released,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Randy Martin, spokesman for the military command policing Baghdad’s volatile southern belt, a sanctuary for armed Sunni Arab groups.
Eleven detainees have been identified as possessing valuable information, including the four suspected insurgents who had been sought before the ambush.