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U.S. killed innocent man: Iraqis

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    The most powerful Sunni Muslim party in Iraq issued an angry statement Saturday accusing Americans of covering up the killing of an innocent member of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 6, 2008
      The most powerful Sunni Muslim party in Iraq issued an angry
      statement Saturday accusing Americans of covering up the killing of
      an innocent member of the party.

      Powerful Iraqi party claims U.S. killed innocent man:
      By Leila Fadel
      McClatchy Newspapers

      BAGHDAD — The most powerful Sunni Muslim party in Iraq issued an
      angry statement Saturday accusing Americans of covering up the
      killing of an innocent member of the party.

      The Iraqi Islamic Party of Vice President Tariq al Hashimi suspended
      all "official communication" with American military and civilian
      officials in Iraq Saturday until it receives an "explanation . . .
      official apology . . . and a vow to stop the campaign of harassment
      against the party."

      The statement followed an incident Friday in which U.S. and Iraqi
      forces raided a home six miles west of Fallujah in predominantly
      Sunni Anbar province, detained one man and killed another. The
      Islamic Party accused the American military of detaining five
      innocent members of the party and killing Sajed Yasseen Hameed,
      44, "in his bed in cold blood."

      The U.S. military said in a statement that the raid was conducted
      based on a Ministry of Interior warrant for a member of the Hamas al
      Iraq insurgent group. When troops raided the home, an armed man shot
      at them and they returned fire, the statement said. The Iraqi Army
      found homemade bombs, a detonation cord and blasting caps in the room
      where the man was arrested, the statement said.

      "The individual detained on 24 October was a leader of Hamas al Iraq.
      The arrest was conducted under Iraqi authority by the Iraqi Army with
      Coalition forces in support," Rear Admiral Patrick Driscoll, a
      spokesman for the U.S. military in Iraq, said in an e-mail. "The
      evidence of an explosives cache found in the suspect's room certainly
      indicates that this person was involved in terrorist activity, not
      political activity."

      Hamas al Iraq is an offshoot of the 1920 Revolution Brigade, a Sunni
      insurgent group, and both groups consider themselves part of the
      resistance against foreign occupation. Some members of both groups,
      however, have negotiated with the Americans, and many have joined the
      U.S.-backed mostly Sunni militias known as the Sons of Iraq.

      The Iraqi Islamic Party, in danger of losing power to the growing,
      U.S.-backed Awakening council in Anbar provincial elections, accused
      the Americans of acting on false information and targeting the party.

      The Islamic Party participated in the political process that other
      Sunnis boycotted in 2005, but its accusations come as provincial
      elections approach and the U.S. and Iraqi government are at odds over
      a long-term security agreement to replace the United Nations mandate
      that governs U.S. actions in Iraq.

      The accusations implied that U.S. forces, which handed security in
      the western Sunni heartland over to Iraqis in September, were acting
      on information from the rival party, which is widely credited with
      helping drive al Qaida in Iraq out of Anbar.

      "There is direct and indirect targeting that is visible, audible and
      touchable by the Americans against leaderships in the Islamic Party
      in the province," said Omar Abdul Sattar, a leading lawmaker from the
      Sunni party. "The repeated targeting by al Qaida and Americans
      against our forces is an ironic coincidence . . . we will not allow
      for our members to be targeted with false reports and be killed in
      their beds in cold blood."

      The party's statement said that local police "condemned" the incident
      and said the raid was "political." It also accused the Americans of
      continuing to control the province after responsibility for security
      had been handed to Iraq.

      "This is very unacceptable, especially when we are pushing the U.S.
      and Iraq to be in a better relationship," said Alaa Makki, a leading
      member of the Iraqi Islamic Party and a legislator. "This action put
      an alarm in our way with the relationship with the Americans."

      In Fallujah on Friday, a Muslim cleric repeated a condemnation over
      loudspeakers and called on local leaders to act.

      "We are your people and our security is your job," he said.

      McClatchy Special Correspondents Jamal Naji contributed from Fallujah
      and Mohammed al Dulaimy from Baghdad.



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