Top Iraqi commanders in Basra removed by government
Key Iraqi commanders in Basra have been removed
Wednesday, 16, Apr 2008 12:50
Iraq's government has removed two key commanders of the country's military and police force based in the southern city of Basra.
The move comes weeks after a crackdown against militia fighters imposed by the government sparked widespread violence across the country.
Lieutenant-General Mohan al-Furaiji has been relieved of his position as overall commander of the military and police forces in Basra.
The Reuters news agency claims Lt Gen al-Furaiji had been held in high regard by US and British troops in Iraq.
Major General Abdul-Jalil Khalaf, the provincial police chief, was also removed today.
Reuters quotes defence minister Major-General Mohammed al-Askari as saying Lt Gen al-Furaiji's mission in Basra had come to an end and that a new general had been placed in charge of the region.
Interior ministry spokesman Major General Abdul-Karim Khalaf was also quoted as saying the two generals had today been "rewarded for their successful mission against the criminals in Basra" and had been promoted to higher positions within the ministry of defence in Baghdad.
Hundreds of people were left dead after the outbreak of violence in the southern regions of Iraq last month as the government attempted a crackdown on militia operating in the area.