US-appointed Interim Baghdad Police Chief Resigns

The interim Baghdad police chief appointed by US authorities resigned on Saturday, saying he wanted to open the way for a younger generation of police leadership.

"I am retiring to allow others to be leaders, to make room for them to rebuild the police without corruption," Zuhir Abdul Razaq, 36, told reporters.

US forces spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Alan King, expressing his disappointment at Zuhir's resignation, said the US-led Office of Rehabilitation and Humanitarian Assistance would appoint another interim chief in the near future.

A permanent chief will be appointed by the new government when it takes power, King said.

Zuhir, a veteran of the Baghdad police force and the former Ministry of the Interior, was appointed by US forces on April 24 tohelp build a local force to restore law and order in the Iraqi capital.

About 3,000 police were patrolling Baghdad, a city of five million population. They have received a first emergency salary payment of 20 dollars each month from the US administration.

US forces have called on former police officers to rejoin the force to maintain law and order in Baghdad where looting became rampant after the fall of Saddam Hussein regime on April 9.



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