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Abadi vows to hunt 'ghost soldiers'

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has publicly addressed the issue of "ghost" soldiers and employees, an aspect of rampant state corruption, and promised to fight the problem.
Iraqi soldiers march during a graduation ceremony in Baghdad November 18, 2014.REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ - Tags: MILITARY) - RTR4EN87
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Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi took a bold step forward when he announced Nov. 30, in front of parliament, that there were 50,000 made-up people counted in the Iraqi army, calling them “ghost soldiers.”

This was Abadi's first public usage of the term “ghost,” which first appeared in Iraq in 2003 and became more common after 2006. Iraqis jokingly use it to refer to nonexistent employees and soldiers who appear on payroll lists but do not in fact perform any work.

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