12 alleged extremists, 13 mosque imams detained in Iraq

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Baghdad, July 23 (IANS) Police arrested 12 persons suspected of belonging to the Islamic State terror organization and 13 imams of mosques in the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh, officials said.

Nineveh’s police chief Wathiq al-Hamadani said on Saturday that the detainees included a prominent IS commander accused of killing several police officers. The commander was arrested in the eastern part of the northern city of Mosul.

Al-Hamadani added that most of the other 11 detainees were suspected IS militants accused of committing crimes against civilians in eastern Mosul, Efe news reported.

According to the police chief, some of the detainees admitted to killing government officials and police officers.

Abu Bakr Kanaan, head of Islamic affairs in the Iraqi province, said the security forces detained 13 mosque imams in the city of Mosul for not delivering unified sermons in their respective mosques.

Kanaan said that seven of the detained imams were released shortly afterward.

Iraqi forces expelled IS combatants from Mosul (which had been the extremists’ main bastion in Iraq since June 2014) after more than eight months of fierce fighting.

–IANS

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