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'Ghost' soldiers haunt Iraqi army

Corruption in Iraq has spread to the army, as ghost soldiers share their wages with officials who cover for the latter’s absence from work.
An Iraqi security forces soldier aims his weapon as he takes up position during a patrol in the town of Jurf al-Sakhar, south of Baghdad, July 19, 2014. Picture taken July 19, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS MILITARY) - RTR3ZKVM

The Iraqi army includes “ghost” soldiers, a purely Iraqi term used to describe members whose names are registered in the wages and salaries lists, but who are not actually present in the military ranks. Their wages go to leaders who cover for their absence.

There are ghost employees in state departments as well; they are absent in reality, but present in terms of official staff who enjoy salaries and privileges.

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