Special report: Tension escalates in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Iraq has demobilized an
entire police brigade in Baghdad for complicity with sectarian death squads, top
U.S. military spokesman said on Wednesday.
"It was realized that removing them from Baghdad
would enhance security," General William Caldwell told a news conference,
referring to the 8th Brigade of the Iraqi National Police.
"There was some possible complicity in allowing death
squad elements to move freely when they should have been impeding them,"
The U.S. military discovered the problem of the
police brigade during its broad brigade-by-brigade assessment of police in
Baghdad, the U.S. spokesman said.
Caldwell disclosed that some 800 to 1,200 officers
would be removed from posts in northwestern Baghdad and sent to a U.S. military
forward operating base for "anti-militia and anti-sectarian" training.
The Iraqi government made the decision late Tuesday,
On Tuesday night, an Interior Ministry source said
that the major general who commanded the battalion that includes the brigade had
been suspended temporarily and ordered transferred. Meanwhile, a lieutenant
colonel had also been detained for investigation, according to the source.
Baghdad has been the scene for fierce sectarian
strife between Sunni insurgents and death squads which are widely believed to
have links with Shiite militia. Enditem