American troops and Iraqi police surrounded the residence of Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi on Thursday.
An aide of Chalabi, Haidar Musawi, accused the Americans of trying to pressure his boss, a longtime Pentagon favorite who has become openly critical of U.S. plans for how much power to transfer to the Iraqis on June 30.
Musawi added the Americans also raided offices of Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress.
"The aim is to put political pressure," Musawi told The Associated Press. "Why is this happening at a time when the government is being formed?"
Police sealed off the residence in the city's Mansour district.
Musawi said the U.S.-Iraqi force surrounded the compound about 10:30 a.m., while Chalabi, a member of the Iraqi Governing Council, was inside. They told Chalabi's aides that they wanted to search the house for Iraqi National Congress officials wanted by the authorities.
The aides agreed to let one unarmed Iraqi policeman inside to look around.
"The Iraqi police were very embarrassed and said that they (the Americans) ordered them to come and that they didn't know it was Chalabi's house," Musawi said.
Musawi said the Americans also seized computers from INC offices. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)