Last Updated: Thursday, 24 July 2014, 13:56 GMT

Iraqi officials confirm arrests of minister's bodyguards

Publisher Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Publication Date 21 December 2012
Cite as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Iraqi officials confirm arrests of minister's bodyguards, 21 December 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/50ed342b21.html [accessed 24 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

December 21, 2012

Finance Minister Rafia al-IssawiFinance Minister Rafia al-Issawi

Authorities in Iraq have confirmed that 10 bodyguards of the country's Sunni finance minister have been arrested in a counterterrorism probe.

A spokesman for the Supreme Judicial Council said on December 21 that the chief of Finance Minister Rafia al-Issawi's protection unit had confessed to participating in unspecified terrorist attacks.

The other nine bodyguards are being held pending further investigation.

Last week, Issawi said an unspecified "militia force" had "kidnapped" members of his staff.

He said he held Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shi'a, responsible for their safe return.

The arrests come at a time of heightened tensions between Iraq's Shi'ite majority and its Sunni minority.

Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi has been sentenced to death in absentia for running death squads. He is now in Turkey.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters

Link to original story on RFE/RL website

Copyright notice: Copyright (c) 2007-2009. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036

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