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Kerbala is home to one of the holiest cities in Shiite Islam and where Shiite factions are struggling for dominance. The US military transferred security responsibility for the province to Iraqi authorities late last month.
Kerbala police spokesman Rahman Emshawi said acting on a tip-off, a police rapid reaction force raided the home of Lieutenant-Colonel Hashem Chalub on Saturday night and seized a quantity of weapons and explosives.