Detainees confess to killing Iraqi security forces and civilians

One detainee said joining al-Qaeda was a "losing process". [Sabah Arar/AFP/Getty Images]

One detainee said joining al-Qaeda was a "losing process". [Sabah Arar/AFP/Getty Images]

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The Iraqi Ministry of Defence presented recorded confessions of seven detained suspects who admitted to killing and then burning the bodies of a number of policemen at a checkpoint in al-Adhamiya neighbourhood in Baghdad in July.

The suspects also confessed to planning and carrying out the attack against the Iraqi Army command building on al-Rasafa side of Baghdad early last month.

"This terrorist group has also confessed to killing 50 citizens, including store owners and students in al-Adhamiya," Maj. Gen. Mohammed al-Askari, spokesperson for the Iraqi Ministry of Defence, told a press conference on Saturday (October 16th).

Al-Askari added that "these terrorists belong to the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq."

In one recorded confession, detainee Saddam Hussain al-Tamimi said he joined al-Qaeda in February 2007 and started participating in attacks against security forces and civilians.

"I regret these acts because women, children, and innocent people were killed because of them," al-Tamimi said. "I have now found out that no matter how long we continued to kill people, one day would come when we would be arrested. I found out that I had been in a losing process."

Another detainee, Qais al-Duri, said he took part in the attack on the Iraqi Army headquarters in al-Rasafa.

"My mission was to attack the military base after the first bomb by opening fire on the security forces at the main gate," he said. "After the attack, I received $2,500."

Commenting on the confessions, Iraqi government spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh said Iraqis should be proud of the achievements made by the security forces.

"The security forces are determined to pursue all of those whose hands were stained with Iraqi blood. They are also determined not to leave the criminals without prosecution, but to bring them to justice," he said.

"The arrest of the terrorists who planned and carried out the bloody attacks that took place in Baghdad is an achievement that shows that investigations and inquiries carried out by the Iraqi armed forces are fruitful and have reached advanced stages of work and performance," al-Dabbagh said. "The time of committing crimes with impunity is over. All those who contribute to chaos and destruction will receive their just punishment according to the law."

Many Iraqi citizens expressed contempt for the group's violent tactics.

"Iraqi forces must continue to eliminate terrorism and drain the sources that support it so that evil and killing of people may stop," said Lateef Ayada, 25, a resident of Baghdad. "Burning bodies is an act that only monsters are capable of. They do not deserve to live, and therefore, must be killed or imprisoned."

Faris Selman, 39, a resident of Fallujah, called on Iraqis to co-operate with one another and with security forces to combat terrorism.

"If we unite, we will get rid of this deviant group that kills innocent people, burns their bodies, kills women and children, and destroys the country's facilities," he said. "We must all co-operate and report any terrorist who sows sedition and sabotage in our country in order to tighten the noose on them and make Iraq secure and stable."