There ain’t no waiting 13 years on Death Row here. These guys will be dead by Christmas.
Diwaniya– The Diwaniya criminal court handed down death sentences against 17 defendants after finding them guilty of murdering several security men and civilians in the province, a spokesman for the Iraqi interior ministry said on Sunday.
“The death sentences will be enforced as soon as possible,” said Abdul-Kareem Khalaf in a press conference he held in the Diwaniya police department.
Khalaf did not say when the Diwaniya criminal court handed down these rulings.
On his visit to the province of al-Diwaniya, 180 kilometers south of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, Khalaf said it “was for coordination purposes among the national and local police and the army.”
On Saturday the 8th Division commander in Diwaniya said more forces started taking part in the security plan in the province codenamed Lion’s Leap alongside Iraqi army and police forces with the aim of hunting down and disarming outlaws in the province.
“Operation Lion’s Leap started during the early hours of Saturday in its second day with the participation of the 7th Division’s quick response forces, a convoy of tanks from the 9th Division and a 3,000-man force from the Iraqi army,” Maj. General Othman Ali Farhoud said during a press conference held at the 8th Division headquarters in Diwaniya.
“Also taking part in the security plan are forces from the 5th Division of the national police and local policemen within an operation that would continue for several weeks from the heart of the province to all its districts and villages,” Farhoud, who is also chief of operations of al-Diwaniya, said.
On Friday an official security source in Diwaniya told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) that the plan “aims at liberating Diwaniya from the militias and gunmen and then handing the province over to the Iraqi army’s 8th Division,” Lt. Col. Ihsan Ali Ibrahim, the police’s 5th Brigade media official.
“Twelve suspects were arrested and 80 pieces of arms and several communication devices were seized,” said Ibrahim, noting a partial curfew is imposed on the areas raided. “The plan has no time frame,” he added.
On Tuesday a security official said a police force estimated to be a brigade arrived in Diwaniya to carry out a security plan codenamed Oil Spill.
“Oil Spill is a wide-scale security operation that targets tracking down outlaws, restoring areas outside the state’s control and setting up permanent security centers,” the source told VOI.
“Forces from the Iraqi army and local police will participate in the operation with backing from the Multi-National Force (MNF),” the source added.
Sheikh Hussein al-Bederi, the Diwaniya provincial council chief, said in earlier statements that 50 percent of areas in the province were outside the state’s control.