[Marxism] US troops assassinate Sadrist official, declaring him "rogue"

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Tue Feb 6 15:24:06 MST 2007


Note that Sadr himself is regularly designated a "renegade" cleric by the
Times" John Burns, NPR radio, and others.  Such labeling is quite knowingly
used to facilitate US targeting for assassination.
Fred Feldman



www.nytimes.com

February 6, 2007
Troops in Iraq Kill Official Who Worked for Shiite Cleric 
By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr.



BAGHDAD, Feb. 5 - The director of the political office in Diyala Province
for the powerful anti-American Shiite militia leader Moktada al-Sadr was
shot and killed by troops during a raid on Sunday, a Sadr political
spokesman said Monday.

A statement by the United States military did not identify the official who
was killed. It said Iraqi troops had killed a leader of "rogue" and criminal
elements of Mr. Sadr's Mahdi Army in Diyala who had directed attacks on
American forces as well as "kidnappings, assassinations and other violence
targeting Iraqi civilians and Iraqi police."

But a spokesman in Baghdad for Mr. Sadr's political movement, Salah
al-Agaili, identified the official as Ali Khazim al-Hamdani. The spokesman
said that Mr. Khazim had been the chief of Mr. Sadr's political office in
Diyala and that he had not turned rogue or otherwise distanced himself from
the Sadr movement. The spokesman also termed the death a "provocation." 

Some American officials familiar with Diyala, a volatile province north of
Baghdad, have said that Mr. Khazim provided intelligence to the American
military, beginning last summer. In one instance, they said, Mr. Khazim
supplied information that led to the capture of Shiite militiamen who had
killed three American soldiers with a powerful roadside bomb near Baquba
last fall.

One American official said that at one point last year Mr. Khazim sought to
reduce the Mahdi militia's emphasis on attacking American and Iraqi forces,
but that the effort had helped put Mr. Khazim in conflict with other more
militant factions associated with the Mahdi Army, including forces allied
with Abu Dera, the feared Shiite death squad commander.
In an interview last year, Mr. Khazim explained that Mahdi militiamen were
pouring into Diyala to protect Shiites being terrorized by Sunni insurgents.
"If my brothers are killed, we have to react to that," he said.
Sunni insurgents have overrun much of Diyala Province and killed or driven
out thousands of Shiites. They often attack the province's Shiite-dominated
security forces, whose commanders, American officials have said, include
officers with close ties to Shiite militias and death squads.






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