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Gunmen kill Saddam-era official in police custody

Written by: Staff
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KERBALA, Iraq, Sep 12 (Reuters) Gunmen shot dead an Iraqi former security officer while he was in police custody being transferred from prison to face trial for crimes committed during the rule of Saddam Hussein, police said today.

Few details were available of Monday's attack, in which Colonel Abbas al-Nuaimi was gunned down outside a jail in Hindiya, near Kerbala, 110 km south of Baghdad.

A police source said the killers had not been identified.

Nuaimi was security chief in the town under Saddam, police said. He was due to go on trial tomorrow for his alleged role in quelling the uprising among the Shi'ite Muslim majority in the area that followed Saddam's defeat in the 1991 Gulf War.

Former officers of the Sunni Muslim-dominated old regime have been targets for attack and many Sunnis accuse Shi'ite militia groups linked to political movements now in government.

Some police are suspected of membership in such militias.

Saddam himself faces trial over the suppression of the 1991 Shi'ite uprising. At present he is being tried for genocide over the killings of tens of thousands of ethnic Kurds in 1988.

Hindiya is the birthplace of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

REUTERS SAM RAI1845

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