Baghdad provincial governor Hussein al-Tahan halts cooperation with US forces pending probe of alleged US raid of Shiite mosque in Baghdad Sunday

Iraq’s ruling Shiite alliance also demanded US forces return control of security to Iraqis. Officials in Baghdad backed radical cleric Moqtada Sadr’s charge that US troops massacred worshippers in the Mustafa mosque near Baghdad’s Sadr City. The US military said Iraqi troops, with US advisers, only returned fire aimed by Sadr’s Mehdi Army militiamen during a raid to arrest terrorists. They said 16 people were killed in the exchange, but no mosque was entered or damaged.
debkafile reported Sunday that this incident plus a US raid of an interior ministry prison bunker holding foreign prisoners would raise tensions between the Shiite- dominated government of Ibrahim Jaafari government and the Americans. The bunker was similar to secret prison discovered last November with 173 mostly Sunni inmates in bad shape.
The ruling Shiite Alliance Party appears to be closing ranks behind its member, the radical Sadr’s faction.
Twelve more bodies with signs of torture were discovered in Baghdad Monday, the day after 30 dead men, most of them decapitated, were found dumped in a village near Baqouba north east of the capital. Scores of corpses have been turning up daily in central Iraq.

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