Monday, May 08, 2006


RNZ: Iraq arrests general over death squads - minister

08 May 2006 -- Reuters, New Zealand
BAGHDAD: Iraq's interior minister said his police had arrested a general in the ministry on suspicion of involvement in kidnaps and death squads.

Bayan Jabor, left, who is fighting to keep his job in a new government in the face of criticism that he has tolerated Shi'ite militias inside his ministry, made the announcement in an interview on Al Jazeera television.

"We have arrested an officer, a major general . . . along with 17 people who kidnapped citizens and in some cases killed them. He is now in jail and under investigation," he said.

"We also found a terror group in the 16th brigade that carries out killings of citizens," he added.

It was not clear when the arrest was made or whether the case was related to arrests of army and police officers announced previously in the last few weeks.

Jabor's Shi'ite Islamist Alliance bloc is pushing for him to keep his post in a new national unity government being formed under Alliance Prime Minister-designate Nuri al-Maliki, negotiators say.

But minority Sunni Arabs enraged by sectarian killings, some conducted by men in uniform, are demanding Jabor's resignation.

The US ambassador, a key player in the negotiations, has made no secret of the fact that Washington would prefer a new face to lead the ministry.

Source: Reuters, New Zealand.  Second source:  Toronto Globe & Mail

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