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Who are the foreign insurgents in Iraq?

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Robin Lustig | 10:00 UK time, Friday, 23 November 2007

Some fascinating figures, thanks to the New York Times, have emerged about who the “foreign insurgents” are in Iraq. They are based on data obtained during a US military raid last September on a camp close to the Syrian border, used apparently as the main clearing point for fighters entering Iraq.

The Americans retrieved detailed biographical date on nearly 750 foreign fighters, from which it emerged that by far the biggest number – more than 40 per cent – were from Saudi Arabia. None, it seems, were from Iran. Here’s the detailed breakdown:

Saudi Arabia 305
Libya 137
Yemen 68
Algeria 64
Syria 56
Morocco 50
Tunisia 38
Jordan 14
Turkey 6
Egypt 2

One other interesting fact from the same Times article: according to US military officials, of the more than 25,000 people being held in American detention centres in Iraq, only about 290, or just over 1 per cent, are foreigners.


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