Adnan al-Dulaimi, secretary-general of the Conference for Iraq's People, said soldiers in tanks and Humvees, with two helicopters circling overhead, broke into his home in western Baghdad at 2:30 a.m., put him and his family in one room, and searched the house.
"It was as if they were attacking a castle, not the home of a normal person who advises Iraq's interim government and has called for reconciliation and renounced sectarianism," al-Dulaimi told a news conference after the raid.
The other raid took place at the Baghdad home of Harith al-Obeidi, another senior official in the organization, said Iraq's largest Sunni political party, the Iraqi Islamic Party.
The U.S. military said it had conducted several raids in those areas today, but could not immediately identify the homes or Iraqis involved.
Also today, 12 Iraqis were killed in a number of shootings and other attacks in the capital, raising to 94 the number of people who have died in violence in Iraq this week, including seven U.S. soldiers.
The Conference for Iraq's People and the Iraqi Islamic Party are two leading political organizations representing Iraq's Sunni Arab minority, which has increasingly complained of abuse as U.S. and Iraqi forces pursue insurgents, the bulk of whom are Sunnis. The two groups are also campaigning to defeat a draft constitution in an Oct. 15 referendum.
In Washington yesterday, President Bush warned that violence will increase in Iraq in the days before the referendum.
"We can expect they'll do everything in their power to try to stop the march of freedom," Bush said of the insurgents. "And our troops are ready for it."
In two attacks today, gunmen opened fire on a Shiite bakery shop in the Dora neighborhood of Baghdad, killing three civilians, and on a minibus carrying government cleaners to work, killing two and wounding seven, police said. Elsewhere in the capital, two civilians and four police officers were killed in drive-by shootings, and a 12-year-old living in a homeless shelter died when a mortar exploded nearby, police said.