Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat- A member of Abu Gharib’s municipality situated in western Baghdad has accused cleaning contractors in some parts of the Iraqi capital of supporting terrorists, Asharq al-Awsat can reveal.
“These contractors cooperated with the terrorist groups by way of affording them opportunities to execute their attacks,” said council member Heitham Abdul Al-Hussein during the council’s weekly meeting. The contractors deliberately prevented the city cleaners from working in particular areas where bombs were planted a day earlier, he alleged.
Elsewhere, Iraq’s deputy prime minister said his government was trying to stem violence in Basra after nine British troops were killed there this month, Britain’s highest monthly death toll in the southern Iraqi city since the March 2003 invasion.
Barham Saleh told BBC radio that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has sent a number of envoys to the city, which has reportedly seen a spike of infighting between rival Shiite factions in recent weeks.
“We recognize that there are serious problems in Basra and the government has begun serious measures,” the deputy prime minister said.
Miliki “himself will be attending to the situation on the ground,” he said.
“Basra is an important city for Iraq. We have had a reasonably stable situation there for a long time but … problems within some groups have had unfortunate ramifications for the stability of the city.”
Salah added: “We will be taking urgent measures in this regard.”
In the latest British fatalities in Basra, two soldiers were killed and two injured by a roadside bomb on Sunday.
The following day in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, two British members of a US news crew also died and a reporter was seriously wounded in a car-bomb attack.