Maliki says 45 Iraqi forces involved in Baghdad attacks

Dozens of Iraqi security force members were involved in attacks that killed up to 112 people in Baghdad last week, PM Maliki said.

Maliki says 45 Iraqi forces involved in Baghdad attacks

Dozens of Iraqi security force members were involved in attacks that killed up to 112 people in Baghdad last week, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Wednesday.

A series of attacks on government targets have killed hundreds in recent months and eroded Maliki's ability to present himself as the man who turned around Iraqi security, a key plank of his election campaign.

Maliki vowed he would not let ongoing attacks influence the polls. He said there were at least 45 members of the security forces involved in the Dec. 8 attack.

"The network was a large one, 24 from one arm of the Iraqi security forces, 13 from another, and eight or nine from another," Maliki told a news conference without saying which branch of the security forces those involved came from.

Maliki promised a reward of around $85,500 to anyone who alerting the government to car bombs before they detonate. The reward would "get citizens involved in supporting the security service and remedy its deficiencies", he said.

Large financial rewards have been offered in the past by the U.S. military.

U.S. combat troops pulled out of urban areas in June, leaving Iraqi forces to take the lead.

No U.S. drawdown delay

Still, Maliki said the attacks would not delay the U.S. drawdown, echoing assurances from the U.S. administration that it will not alter plants to end combat operations by Aug. 31 2010 and bring troop levels to 50,000 by then.

"As for the effect of these operations on the withdrawal, not at all. The withdrawal has been completely finalised with a defined timetable," he said.

Reuters
Last Mod: 17 Aralık 2009, 09:08
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