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Iraq arrests security officers over death of 20 civilians

SULEYMANIYAH, IRAQ - DECEMBER 07: Students continue protests demanding Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (IKRG) to resume issuing their monthly stipends in Suleymaniyah, Iraq on December 07, 2021. ( Fariq Faraj Mahmood - Anadolu Agency )
Students continue protests demanding Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (IKRG) to resume issuing their monthly stipends in Suleymaniyah, Iraq on December 07, 2021. [Fariq Faraj Mahmood - Anadolu Agency]

Iraqi forces detained several security officers in connection with the death of 20 civilians in central Iraq, according to a local security official on Sunday.

The civilians were killed during a security operation to arrest two suspected militants in the village of Al-Rashayed in Babel province on Thursday.

The killings have triggered outrage across Iraq, forcing the government to launch an investigation into the incident.

The security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said several security personnel, including officers, were arrested in connection with the fatal operation. He, however, did not give an exact number.

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"Investigations showed that the core of the problem was a family dispute between the head of the family and one of his sons-in-law," the official said.

He argued that the son-in-law, who works as a police officer, gave false information that his father-in-law was hiding two terrorists in his house.

"A security force attempted to arrest the victim, but he refused to surrender, which led to a shootout," the security official said.

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