The National Concord Front, a coalition of three Sunni Arab parties with 44 seats in the new parliament, denounced ongoing arrests and security sweeps which they say are targeting their community.

 

"(The coalition) has presented 10 demands, which if not met, will result in a campaign of civil disobediance throughout the country," Tariq al-Hashimi, a leader of the front, told a press conference on Wednesday.

 

Iraqi Sunni Arabs have long complained about what they describe as a campaign of revenge and assassinations carried out by members of Iranian-backed Shia militias with links to security services dominated by Iranian-backed officials.

 

Hashimi called for the deployment of the army in Baghdad to protect the population, the resignation of the interior minister and his assistants and the end of security sweeps conducted by the interior ministry, which he said targeted innocents.

 

He also called for the disbanding of militias, the end of the campaign of arrests, the freeing of detainees in both official and secret prisons run by the government as well as those in US custody, "particularly the women".

 

Arrest campaign

"The AMS condemns the arrests and holds the US occupation forces and the current government responsible for the safety of the arrested"

AMS statement

In a statement issued on Wednesday and obtained by Aljazeera.net, the Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMS) condemned an arrest campaign against a Sunni Arab neighbourhood on Wednesday.

 

"At five o'clock in the morning a task force of the so-called Lion Brigade of the Interior Ministry attacked the al-Jihad district in Baghdad and conducted arrests," the statement said.

 

The statement said 100 people were arrested after ascertaining the sect and tribe of each individual.
 

"The AMS condemns the arrests and holds the US occupation forces and the current government responsible for the safety of the arrested. In the meantime it appeals to the Arab League, Islamic Congress Organisation, and human rights organisations to wake up to their responsibilities and act to stop such crimes from happening in Iraq" the statement said.

 

The statement accused the arrests had sectarian motives.