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Iraq’s Al Maliki said ordering ‘systematic targeting’ of Sunni leaders

Special to WorldTribune.com

BAGHDAD — Iraq has again targeted Sunni politicians.

Sunni leaders said Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki has ordered raids and
arrests of Sunni political figures. They cited the raid of the office of
Finance Minister Rafie Al Esawi, in which scores of Sunni staffers were
abducted by Shi’ite militias in late December.

Protesters rally in response to the arrests of the bodyguards of Iraqi Finance Minister Rafie Al Esawi. The bodyguards are said to have been detained for terrorist activity. /Reuters

“This confirms there is continued systematic targeting of the Sunni
symbols and leaders participating in the political process,” a statement by Al Esawi’s Al Iraqiya party said.

Al Esawi, a leading Sunni politician, said the raid by unidentified
Shi’ite fighters captured more than 100 bodyguards and other office
staffers. The finance minister blamed Al Maliki, a Shi’ite deemed close to Iran.

In 2011, Al Maliki ordered the arrest of Vice President Tareq Al Hashemi and his bodyguards. Al Hashemi, who found refuge in neighboring Turkey, was accused and later convicted in absentia of sponsoring Sunni death squads.

Al Maliki has acknowledged the raid of Al Esawi’s office. But a
statement by the prime minister said six bodyguards were arrested on charges of violating security laws.

“Sunnis, Shi’ites and all the people must know that carrying out arrest
warrants against suspects doesn’t mean targeting a specific sect,” Al Maliki
said.

This marked the second showdown between Al Maliki and an Iraqi minority
in December. Earlier, Iraqi and Kurdish security forces engaged in a
confrontation near the northern city of Kirkuk.

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1 Comment for “Iraq’s Al Maliki said ordering ‘systematic targeting’ of Sunni leaders”

  1. Just another example of Freedom and Democracy at work in a Muslim country.

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