Monday, January 29, 2007

From FOX or the London Times

Death Squad Leaders Flee Baghdad Ahead of Troop Surge, Former Iraqi Official Says

WASHINGTON — Death squad leaders have fled Baghdad to evade capture or killing by U.S. and Iraqi forces before the start of the troop "surge" and security crackdown in the capital.

A former senior Iraqi minister said most of the leaders loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr, the radical anti-American cleric, had gone into hiding in Iran.

Among those said to have fled is Abu Deraa, theShiite militia leader whose appetite for sectarian savagery has been compared to that of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq who was killed last year.

Visit's Iraq Center for more in-depth coverage.

The former minister, who did not want to be named for security reasons, backed Sunni members of parliaments' claims that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had encouraged their flight. He alleged that weapons belonging to Sadr's Mahdi Army had been hidden inside the Iraqi interior ministry to prevent confiscation.

Click here for continued story. OR click here for complete report from the London Times.

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