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Sunday, April 26, 2009

'US breached interim security pact in Iraq'

Sun, 26 Apr 2009 15:28:51 GMT

Iraq's Defense Ministry has arrested two of the country's army commanders over a recent US raid on a house in the southern town of al-Kut.

The two provincial commanders were arrested on charges of "permitting an American military force to carry out a security operation after 1:00 am (2200 GMT) without the knowledge of the defense ministry or the Iraqi government," the Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Mohammed al-Askari told AFP on Suday.

The military carried out a deadly house raid in al-Kut earlier in the day. Two members of the family were shot dead and four others were taken to the Delta military base, some seven kilometers (4 miles) west of the city, the Voices of Iraq news agency reported.

The US military however claimed the raid was "fully coordinated and approved by the Iraqi government" and was aimed at "militants".

"In an operation fully coordinated and approved by the Iraqi government, coalition forces targeted a network financier, who is also responsible for smuggling weapons into the country," read a military statement.

In an earlier statement, the military claimed that the attack was aimed at a suspect during which a woman "moved into the line of fire" and died of her gunshot wounds after receiving treatment from an army medic.

A medic at a nearby hospital however said it had received two bodies, including a woman who had been shot in the stomach and the shoulder and a man who had been shot in the head.

Iraq signed a security military pact with the US last year under which all military operations must be conducted with the agreement of the Iraqi government and be "fully coordinated" with Iraqi authorities.

The deal also requires the US forces leave all Iraqi cities by June 30 and withdraw the country by the end of 2011.

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