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Iraq Interior Ministry shakes up police force to stem violence and corruption

[JURIST] Iraq’s Interior Ministry announced [AP report] Saturday that 3,000 members of its Shiite-led police force have been fired since May and top commanders have been reshuffled amid ongoing accusations [JURIST report] of corruption and human rights violations. Up to 600 department employees will face prosecution. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, spokesman for the Interior Ministry, told AP that the steps were taken to help stop the violence between Shiites and Sunnis, which has surged [BBC news report] in the last week.

The police force has long been accused of being dominated by Shiite militias responsible for the slayings of Sunni Arabs. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki [Wikipedia profile] has been slow to take action against the militias because of political ties within his coalition. The International Herald Tribune has more.

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