Iraqi premier vows crackdown on militants amid rising violence
“Today we have the problem of (groups) forming armed militias that must be toughly handled because they will drag us backward,” al-Maliki told a rally in the capital Baghdad on Wednesday.
The Iraqi premier added that anyone involved in forming militant groups would be brought to justice – regardless of who they are.
The comments come after a series of bomb blasts across Iraq on Wednesday left at least 15 people dead.
Police sources said an explosion killed six people in east of the city of Falluja.
Another bomb blast occurred in northern city of Baiji, 180 kilometers (112 miles) north of Baghdad. According to police, the roadside bomb killed four policemen.
In a televised address on April 25, Maliki called for unity among the Muslim nation and said armed groups were seeking conflict and trying to wage a civil war.
Condemning the recent violence, Maliki put the blame on some regional countries that try to spread terror across Iraq.
“There will be no winner in the sectarian strife, everyone will be a loser and let those who ignite it be prepared because it will burn their fingers too; whether they are insiders or outsiders,” Xinhua quoted the premier as saying.
Violence has increased in Iraq since December 2011, when an arrest warrant was issued for the fugitive Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who has been charged with running a death squad targeting Iraqi officials and Shia Muslims.
The government has stepped up efforts to boost security across the country over the past few months.
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