Iraqi security forces capture suspect in assassination of anti- Baath head

14:55, June 01, 2011      

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Iraqi security forces captured a suspect allegedly involved in last week's assassination of the head of an Iraqi committee in charge of purging former president Saddam Hussein's loyalists, a security source said on Tuesday.

"Iraqi security forces have arrested a terrorist who carried out the assassination of Ali al-Lami," Baghdad Operations Command, responsible for security in the Iraqi capital, said in a statement.

"The terrorist was affiliated with the intelligence service of the former Saddam Hussein's regime," the statement said.

The suspect was captured in al-Taji area, some 20 km north of Baghdad, during an operation carried out by the Iraqi security forces based on intelligence reports, the statement said without giving further details.

On Thursday, gunmen using silenced weapons shot dead executive director of the Justice and Accountability Commission (JAC) Ali al- Lami, a Shiite Muslim, while driving in his car in east of Baghdad.

The JAC, formerly named de-Baathification Committee and formed after the Iraqi war, is tasked with vetting people trying to get government jobs or take political office for ties to Saddam Hussein's Baath Party.

Al-Lami and his JAC came under fire in last year's general election because he banned some Sunni candidates running for office on the allegation that the latter had ties with Saddam's Baath regime. Many Sunnis see the move as attempts to further marginalize the minority group which ruled the country before.

His death was part of a wave of attacks against Iraq's government officials and security forces during the past few months.

Source: Xinhua
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