Friday, September 07, 2007


Former protector of al-Askari shrine arrested

(Voices of Iraq) - Security forces in Mosul arrested the former official responsible for protecting al-Askari shrine in the city of Samara, the official spokesman for the interior ministry said on Thursday. "Aws Tareq Farid, who is suspected of colluding with the gunmen who blew up the mosque on February 2006, was arrested in the city of Mosul at 12:00 pm on Wednesday," General Abdul Karim Khalaf told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) by phone.
"Intelligence reports asserted that the suspect had returned from Syria, where he fled to, and security forces arrested him in Mosul," he also said. "The arrest warrant was issued last year and the judicial order to arrest him was implemented only yesterday," the general said, noting that he was sent to Baghdad for investigation.
The Al-Askari Mosque bombing occurred in the Iraqi city of Samara on February 22, 2006, at about 6:55 a.m. local time. The attack on the mosque, one of the holiest sites for Shiite Muslims, is believed to have been caused by al-Qaeda in Iraq. Although no injuries occurred in the blasts, the mosque was severely damaged.

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