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Detained Iraqi Shi'ite militia chief threatens to kill politicians

Published on Jan 21, 2014 4:12 PM

BAGHDAD (REUTERS) - A Shi'ite militia leader arrested in Iraq after his group fired mortars into Saudi Arabia has said leaders of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's political bloc will be killed unless he is released within 24 hours.

Wathiq al-Battat, speaking on a mobile phone he said had been given him by a sympathetic prison guard, said he was being held without charge in solitary confinement in a small, cold cell, with no access to lawyers or his family.

Battat was detained in Baghdad on Jan 2, six weeks after his Iranian-backed al-Mukhtar Army fired six mortar bombs from southern Iraq into the Saudi desert, causing no casualties.

He said the attack was a warning to Saudi Arabia to stop meddling in Iraqi affairs.

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