Friday, March 16, 2007

Iraqi Interior Ministry says raid on Palestinian compound was targeting stolen car ring, not refugees

Left: A Palestinian Iraqi man looks out of the window of his apartment in the Palestinian neighborhood of al-Baladiyat, in Baghdad, April 2006. In a December report, the UN said, "Palestinians have been specifically targeted in Iraq and have no safe haven or support network there. There are still an estimated 15,000 Palestinians in Iraq – out of some 34,000 in 2003. In Baghdad, they live in a climate of constant fear and are unable to get proper documents. Hundreds who have tried to flee are stuck at the Syrian border or in an isolated camp inside Jordan. And those who have succeeded in leaving Iraq often did so illegally."

BAGHDAD: The Interior Ministry on Thursday defended a raid on a Palestinian compound earlier this week in eastern Baghdad, saying it was targeting a stolen car ring — not the refugees.

Police met with fierce resistance when they went to arrest suspects on Wednesday and "three gang members were killed and 15 others arrested," said spokesman Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf.

Palestinian charge d'affaires Dalil al-Qusous said Wednesday that a Palestinian had been killed and as many as 80 others had been detained, demanding their release. He also claimed the Iraqi troops fired randomly during the raid, causing "fear and awe."

Read the rest at the International Herald Tribune

Related Link:
Iraq: Palestinians Under Attack, But Unable to Flee