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Iraq's Interior Ministry confirms security officials' detention
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15:58, December 19, 2008

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The Iraqi Interior Ministry confirmed the detention of a group of its officers, but said the number is less than what has been released by media, according a statement Xinhua obtained on Friday.

On Thursday, the U.S. New York Times reported that some 35 officials in the Iraqi Interior Ministry were arrested, including ministry's director of internal affairs Ahmed Abu Ragheef.

In its statement on Thursday, the ministry said "the number of the arrested ministry's officers was inaccurate and it denied at the same time the detention of Abu Ragheef, saying that he is one of the investigators in the dossier of the detainees.

"The interrogation will be carried out not only with the interior's detainees but also with officers in other ministries," the statement said without telling the exact number of the detainees or giving more details.

The New York Times report also said that a top ministry official said that those arrested with al-Awda links paid bribes to officers to recruit them, and that large amounts of money have been found during the arrest operations.

An anonymous source from the Interior Ministry on Thursday told Xinhua that Iraqi security forces arrested dozens of Interior Ministry officials apparently accused of participating in a plot to restore Saddam Hussein's banned party.

The source refused to tell the exact number of the detainees or their identities.


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