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Iraqi Security forces target armed groups that attacked protesters

Iraq's new government is taking a series of decisions to rein in Iran-backed militias.

Iraqi police in the southern province of Basra stormed the office of the Thar Allah al-Islami militia Monday and arrested all the members in the office, including its leader, Yusif Sanawi. Militia members were accused of shooting protesters from their office on Sunday.

Thar Allah was established in 1995 and was active against Saddam Hussein. It was a part of a sectarian war in southern Iraq after Saddam was ousted in 2003. The militia was dismantled and Sanawi was arrested in the Battle of Basra military campaign under then Prime Minister Nouri Maliki in 2008. But Sanawi was able to escape to Iran, where he stayed for years, before he returned and reactivated the militia in 2014. Sanawi formed a political wing and participated in the 2018 election but did not win any seats.

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