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June 30, 2020 10:06 am

Iraqi Officials Release Iran-Backed Militiamen Arrested Last Week

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Iraqi Shi’ite Muslim men from the Iran-backed group Kataib Hezbollah march in a Quds Day parade, in Baghdad, July 25, 2014. Photo: Reuters / Thaier al-Sudani.

Iraqi government officials said on Monday that a number of Iran-backed militiamen arrested in a raid by security forces on Thursday had been released on bail, government sources said.

The three sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not specify how many of the 14 that the military announced were detained had been released.

A paramilitary official told Reuters that all 14 had been released and that a judge did not find evidence of possession of rockets or launchers, without giving further details.

The military said Friday that its forces had raided a base in southern Baghdad used by militiamen suspected of firing rockets at foreign embassies in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone and its international airport.

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Iraqi authorities were questioning the 14 men detained during the raid, the military added.

The incident took place after a number of rocket attacks near the US Embassy in Baghdad and other US military sites in recent weeks.

The raid was the most brazen action by Iraqi forces against a major Iran-backed militia in years and targeted the Kataib Hezbollah group, which US officials accuse of firing rockets at bases hosting US troops and other facilities in Iraq.

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