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Leader of Hezbollah in Iraq Threatens More Sectarian Violence

The leader of Hezbollah in Iraq, Wathiq al-Battat, continues to amp up talk of Shiites exacting revenge against al-Qaeda and Baathists.
Members of Hezbollah Iraq carry the coffin of their comrade Reza Khudair al-Khalidi, who was also a Shi'ite fighter and killed in clashes with the Free Syrian Army, during his funeral in Kerbala, 110 km (70 miles) south of Baghdad, June 5, 2013. Hundreds of Iraqis attended the funeral on Thursday, and relatives of Khalidi said he was killed while fighting on the outskirts of the border town of Qusair. REUTERS/Mushtaq Muhammed (IRAQ - Tags: CONFLICT CIVIL UNREST MILITARY) - RTX10CYT
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Wathiq al-Battat, the turbaned controversial figure who has been wanted by the judiciary for five months, admitted in a TV appearance on July 11 to carrying out killings and bombings in Baghdad, through a militia called the Mukhtar Army. Iraqi forces then decided to arrest the program’s staff who had conducted the interview, without arresting Battat himself.

This perplexing picture has sparked confusion in Iraq. Battat, who introduced himself to the media as secretary-general of Hezbollah in Iraq, announced in February the formation of a militia designed to kill al-Qaeda members and Baathists, in retaliation for the bombings against Iraq’s Shiite cities.

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