Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Armed groups backed by Diyala official captured

Three armed groups involved in organized crime and financed by a local official have been disbanded, Diyala police announced today.

The 36 captured men, who police say were financed by the Diyala Governor's Deputy for Arts Affairs, Ghadhban al-Khazraji, were responsible for several armed attacks and assassinations.

The video-taped confessions were shown during a police conference today, in which the militants admitted to belonging to armed groups such as Ansar al-Sunnah and the Rijal al-Naqshbandiyah and receiving payments from the official for assassinations since 2006.

The groups used silenced guns to assassinate members of the Dawa Party led by Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Shiite groups of the Supreme Islamic Council in Iraq and the Badir Organization.

Khazraji is a member of the Accord and Reform Front, which is part of the Iraqiya List.

He was arrested on terror charges on Jan. 20 by a special force working under the command of the prime minister.