Iraq parliament speaker calls for US withdrawal

BAGHDAD (AFP) – Iraq’s parliament speaker Mahmud Mashhadani bitterly criticized US forces in Iraq, accusing them of “butchery” and demanded that they pull out of the country.

Mashhadani was speaking at a UN-sponsored conference on transitional justice and reconciliation in Baghdad, and his strongly worded attack appeared to embarrass his international hosts, who grimaced on the podium.

“Just get your hands off Iraq and the Iraqi people and Muslim countries, and everything will be all right,” the conservative Sunni Islamist said, in a speech opening the conference.

“What has been done in Iraq is a kind of butchery of the Iraqi people.”

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Death’s at the Door in Iraq
The massacre in Jihad was efficient. Someone in uniform with a list of names. A son taken. On the street, gunfire. At home, calls for help.

BAGHDAD The uniformed gunmen knocked politely on Hamid Shammari’s door.

They took away his 20-year-old son, promising to let him go the next day. He hasn’t been seen or heard from since that dreadful Sunday that changed the Jihad neighborhood of western Baghdad, and perhaps the rest of Iraq.

For several hours on the morning of July 9, Jihad became a place of unspeakable brutality, not so much for the wanton bloodshed that has become a daily part of Iraqi life, but for the systematic nature of the killings. At least 36 and possibly as many as 55 Sunni Arab men were executed in what appears to have been a revenge operation condoned or even overseen by law enforcement officials.

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