Iraq: Son of prominent Shiite leader detained as three US troops killed

Published February 23rd, 2007 - 04:44 GMT

U.S. forces detained the eldest son of Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, one of Iraq's most prominent Shi'ite leaders, at a checkpoint on the Iraqi-Iranian borders on Friday, Iraqi security force officials said.

 

Hakim heads the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), which was based in Iran during Saddam Hussein's rule.

 

Ammar Hakim's convoy was stopped at the Badrah checkpoint in Wasit province as he returned from Iran, the Iraqi security officials told Reuters. The mayor of Badrah, Ali Hadi Moushawa, said four of his bodyguards were also detained. An aide to a senior SCIRI official sought to play down what had happened, saying: "There was a misunderstanding at an American checkpoint, but now it is over. He was not arrested."

 

Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim was a guest of U.S. President George W. Bush at the White House last December, when the two held talks on how to curb sectarian violence in Iraq.

 

Meanwhile, three American troops died in combat on Thursday in Iraq's western Anbar province, the U.S. military said in a statement on Friday. Thursday's deaths brought to 3,154 the number of American soldiers killed in Iraq since 2003.

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