Sectarianism Splits Security in Diyala By Ahmed Ali

Dandelion Salad

Inter Press Service
By Ahmed Ali*
August 07, 2007

BAQUBA, Aug 7 (IPS) – Militia from the Shia organisation Badr have taken over the police force in Diyala province north of Baghdad, residents say.

The government led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is believed to have backed such infiltration, and this has reportedly led to clashes with U.S. military leaders.
The Daily Telegraph in London has reported that Maliki and General David Petraeus, U.S. commander of the multi-national force in Iraq, have clashed over moves by the U.S. general to arm some Sunni groups. Sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shia Muslims has grown amidst Iraqi government policies seen as supportive of Shias. Maliki is from the Dawa Party backed by Shia Iran.

In Baquba, 50km northeast of the capital, and capital of Diyala, residents say the Shia Badr Organisation, the armed wing of the politically dominant Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC), has been dominant in the province since the early months of the occupation.

The Badr Organisation managed to fill leadership positions in city and province, while Sunni Iraqis remained largely unrepresented.

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