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Iraq: Homes of 'convicted terrorists' to be destroyed

Babil officials say the families of fighters will also be deported under new rule, the first such decision since 2003.

Babil

The homes of convicted attackers will be demolished and their families banished from an Iraqi province, under a new proposal by the council of Babil - an area home to more than 1.6 million people.

It's the first such decision in Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Approved by authorities in Hillah, the capital of Babil province, the decision applies to "terrorists" who have exhausted all possibilities of appealing against their convictions, council member Hassan Fadaam said on Wednesday.

The rule will be applied to, among others, those suspected of carrying out attacks against security forces.

"We will consider any means that could help deter terrorism and this is one of them," Fadaam said.

"We have grown frustrated with the central government's efforts to maintain security and execute convicted militants. Nothing is deterring the terrorists who realise once they are in prison, they only receive good treatment."

The decision also called on Baghdad to hand over people who are on death row for attacks carried out in other provinces, so that they can be publicly executed where they committed the crime, Fadaam said.

Public anger against the government has mounted since the July 3 bombing in Karada, a  mainly Shia neighbourhood in central Baghdad, when more than 281 people were killed and hundreds wounded.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Many Iraqis blame their political leadership for security lapses, which they say have allowed explosives to pass through checkpoints into residential neighbourhoods.

In an attempt to show its commitment to security, the government executed five people who were sentenced to death for other attacks, days after the Karada bombing.

Shula blast

In a separate development on Wednesday, a suicide bomber killed at least six people at a police checkpoint south of Baghdad.

The attacker detonated his vest at a post in the Shia neighbourhood of Shula, killing three policemen and three civilians, and wounding at least 15 others, a police officer said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but ISIL has claimed previous attacks against security forces in areas where Shia Muslims live.

The group overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but has since lost ground to Iraqi forces backed by US-led air strikes and other assistance.

ISIL has responded to the battlefield setbacks by striking civilians, particularly Shia Iraqis.

Experts have warned that there may be more bombings as the group continues to lose ground.


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