Iraqi security ‘infiltrated’

Bayan Jabr Solagh blamed the special security forces that provide protection for ministries and key installations, as well as the many private security companies in Iraq.

Asked if there are unofficial death squads operating within these security forces, he replied: “Sometimes, yes, I can tell you… with these security companies it is not right… you do not know what they are doing.

“We have to make clear that there are some forces out of order, not under our control and not under the control of the ministry of defence,” he said.

“These forces are the FPS to protect the ministries,” he said, referring to special security forces known as Force Protection for Site (FPS) which protect ministry buildings, power stations or oil pipelines.

“And their numbers are huge… there are 150,000,” he said.

“Their uniform is like the police, their car is like the police, their weapons are like the police.”

A recent upsurge of sectarian violence in Iraq that has left hundreds of dead is often blamed by Sunnis on militias wearing uniforms belonging to the security forces.

“Terrorists or someone who supports the terrorists… are using the clothes of the police or the military,” Solagh said in comments published on the BBC website.

“Now you can go to the shop and buy it.”

Arab foreign ministers are meeting in Cairo to discuss the violence in Iraq, however the Baghdad government is not taking part.

Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak earlier this week said Iraq is already beset by civil war, however Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari dismissed the claim.

Iraqi parliament to convene

Mr Jaafari has meanwhile insisted that his political fate will be decided on the floor of parliament, amid growing calls for him to step down.

His selection by the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance has faced immense pressure from Kurds and Sunni Arabs stalling the formation of the national unity government nearly four months after elections.

Speak Adnan Pachachi told reporters that Iraq’s parliament will convene on Monday.

“There are signs that there will be agreement on all problems concerning formation of the government” and so “the parliament will convene on April 17 at 11.00am (local time),” said Mr Pachachi.

The previous session of the parliament was held on March 16, when the newly elected members were sworn in three months after the election.

However, that session swiftly adjourned amid little sign of a deal on a government of national unity.

When asked if the parliament will vote on the candidacy of Mr Jaafari, Mr Pachachi said the prime minister’s candidacy still awaits approval from the presidential council which itself “has not been elected yet.”

Iraq’s constitution stipulates that the appointment of the prime minister needs to be sealed by the three-member presidential council which lawmakers have yet to appoint.

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