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Commanders pleased with Operation Swarmer

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BAGHDAD, Iraq - U-S commanders in Iraq say they're pleased with the progress by U-S and Iraqi troops in Operation Swarmer. The offensive is in its second day.

The commander of Multinational Corps-Iraq told Pentagon reporters this morning that 31 suspected foreign fighters and militants are in custody and several large underground weapons caches have been uncovered. Lieutenant General Peter Chiarelli expects the operation to continue for several more days.

Critics have questioned the timing of the offensive, which comes days before the third anniversary of the invasion and right in the middle of a new presidential push to rally support. Chiarelli says "there was no attempt to time this to anything" and adds that he "can't figure out why people did the analysis that they did."

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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