U.S. armed forces rescued 42 extremely lucky Iraqi civilians from a makeshift Al Qaeda prison in the province of Diyala earlier today. It is believed that some of the 42 hostages had been held as long as four months prior to their rescue. Not surprisingly some of the victims found showed obvious signs of torture and broken bones. According to U.S. military spokesman, Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, it was the largest number of detained Iraqis ever found in a single group.

Details surrounding this event are still sketchy, but it is being reported that some of the freed Iraqis have been transported to medical facilities for treatment of their injuries, and at this point there is no indication that any Americans had been held at that particular location, nor has anyone been able to confirm whether any members of Al Qaeda were actually rounded up during this operation.

Apparently a tip from locals led to the rescue operation, which is a good sign that at least some (maybe even a significant number) of the Iraqi citizens are getting tired of being subjected to the viciousness and brutality being dished out by the various terrorist organizations that have had so many areas of Iraq under their thumbs since Saddam Hussein’s regime was toppled 4 years ago.

In recent weeks an additional 3,000 U.S. troops entered Diyala province in an effort to root out militants and insurgents that, until now, have been able to establish a foothold in the region. Maj. Gen Caldwell said U.S. troops have been engaging more directly with Iraqi civilians, which leads me to believe that the coalition forces are on the right track toward the ultimate goal of putting the Iraqi’s in a position to fend for themselves. Better late than never I guess.