Homepage ( Leaderboard Top ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: Breaking News ( Leaderboard Top ), pagematch: , sectionmatch: 1

Iraq seeks UN help in recent bombings

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – Iraq's prime minister has asked the UN Security Council to investigate recent bombings outside two government ministry buildings in Baghdad and prosecute the alleged perpetrators, the country's UN envoy said Thursday.

Ambassador Hamid Al Bayati said a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon requested the UN chief to ask the Security Council to establish an independent investigation commission and an international tribunal. 

UN deputy spokeswoman Marie Okabe said Thursday afternoon that the letter was being sent to this month's council president, US Ambassador Susan Rice, who was expected to distribute it shortly to the 14 other council members. 

Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki claimed Thursday that Syria was sheltering armed groups wanted for cross-border attacks, but Al Bayati said the letter to the secretary-general "doesn't mention a country or any name." 

Iraq has blamed an alliance between al-Qaida in Iraq and Saddam Hussein's outlawed Baath Party for a pair of truck bombings on Aug. 19 outside the Foreign and Finance ministries in Baghdad that killed about 100 people. Iraq wants Syria to hand over several suspects it says are based there. 

Al Bayati said the prime minister made the request now because "the kind of crimes committed in these attacks might need investigation beyond Iraqi jurisdiction." 

Homepage ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

"We need an independent international investigation committee or commission, and then whoever proves to be connected, or perpetrators of (the) attacks, should be put (before a) special international tribunal," he said. 

Al Bayati said the letter cites a resolution adopted by the Security Council in August 2005 that condemned a series of terrorist attacks in Iraq at that time and reaffirmed the need "to combat by all means ... threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts." 

The resolution, which is legally binding, affirmed "that acts of terrorism must not be allowed to disrupt Iraq's political and economic transition." It expressed the council's "utmost determination to combat terrorism." 

Al Maliki also cited a press statement from the council which condemned "in the strongest terms the series of terrorist attacks" on Aug. 19, noting that they took place on the sixth anniversary of the bombing of UN headquarters in Baghdad. 

The council press statement "underlined the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice, and urged all states ... to cooperate actively with Iraqi authorities in this regard." 

Council members "reiterated that no terrorist act can reverse a path towards peace, democracy and reconstruction in Iraq, which is supported by the people and the government of Iraq and the international community." 

There are precedents for the UN to set up investigations and tribunals in response to terrorist acts. 

The council established a commission to investigate the 2005 assassination of Lebanon's former prime minister Rafik Hariri and in 2007 it established an international tribunal to prosecute suspects in the killing. 

On July 1, in response to a request from the secretary-general which the council approved, a UN commission began a six-month investigation into "the facts and circumstances" of the December 2007 assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Homepage ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
  • Follow Us: