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Friday, August 25, 2006

Sadr's Militia and the Slaughter in the Streets 'We Don't Need a Verdict,' One Commander Says

Ellen Knickmeyer, Washington Post Foreign Service

In a grungy restaurant with plastic tables in central Baghdad, the young Mahdi Army commander was staring earnestly. His beard was closely cropped around his jaw, his face otherwise cleanshaven. The sleeves of his yellow shirt were rolled down to the wrists despite the intense late-afternoon heat. He spoke matter-of-factly: Sunni Arab fighters suspected of attacking Shiite Muslims had no claim to mercy, no need of a trial. "These cases do not need to go back to the religious courts," said the commander, who sat elbow to elbow with a fellow fighter in a short-sleeved, striped shirt. Neither displayed weapons. "Our constitution, the Koran, dictates killing for those who kill." (...) For suspected enemies taken by the Mahdi Army, the outcome is swift, with guilt and punishment already determined, the commanders said. "If we catch any of them, the takfiris, Saddamists, bombers, we don't hand them over to police. He could be freed the next day," the Sheik said...

continua / continued


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