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Widespread Arrests Reported in Baghdad
Jami'a District Resident Says Families Depart, Fearing "Sectarian" Detentions
06/18/2009 8:23 PM ET
Google Earth image/IraqSlogger.com.

Iraqi forces have conducted a widespread raiding and arrest campaign in the western Baghdad district of al-Jami'a, according to a report in Arabic citing eyewitnesses.

The al-Haq News Agency reports that eyewitnesses in the predominantly Sunni Arab area of western Bahgdad say that “many families in the district have left their homes empty for fear of sectarian arrests.”

One resident of the area, identified as Abu Ahmad, reportedly told the online news agency that the Iraqi government statements to the media claiming an improvement in the security affairs of the area were false.

“The truth of the matter is that security situation has deteriorated . . . and I fear for my children, that they will be thrown in prison and become just forgotten numbers, like their colleagues who are subjected to all manner of torture,” the al-Jami'a resident reportedly said.

Al-Haq takes an editorial line opposed to the post-2003 Iraqi political order and the presence of foreign forces in Iraq.

Al-Haq agency does not provide arrest figures in its report, nor does it provide further information as to the nature of the raids or the targeted sites.

Iraqi forces for the last two weeks have intensified their arrest and raiding campaigns across the country, the agency reports, citing official statements that the raids come in preparation for the withdrawal of American forces from Iraqi cities, scheduled for the end of the month.

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