The U.S. Military said U.S. forces raided an Al-Qaeda hide-out northeast of Baghdad on May 27, 2007, and freed 42 Iraqis imprisoned inside.
The raid was part of a three-month security crackdown that included the deployment of 3,000 more U.S. troops to Diyala, a violent province north of the capital that has seen heavy fighting in recent weeks.
Lt. Col. Chris Garver said it was a tip-off from Iraqis that led them to the hideout. Military officials said some of those rescued had been tortured and suffered broken bones. The freed hostages are now in medical care.
According to the U.S. military, the 42 freed Iraqis marks the largest number of captives ever found in a single Al-Qaeda prison. Military officials said the operation shows that Iraqis in the turbulent Diyala Province are turning against Sunni insurgents and beginning to develop trust in U.S. troops there.