US troops free self-styled Baghdad mayor

United States troops have released self-proclaimed mayor of Baghdad Mohammed Mohsen Al-Zubaidi a fortnight after his arrest.

     

    Zubaidi:Recants,freed

    The US military late on Sunday night issued a statement signed by Al-Zubaidi admitting he was not the mayor of Baghdad and pledging to work with the US-led administration in Iraq.

       

    Occupation US troops arrested Al-Zubaidi on 27 April for exercising authority he did not have after he proclaimed himself mayor.

       

    In the chaos that followed the toppling of Saddam Hussein in the US-led invasion of  Iraq, Al-Zubaidi set up 22 committees to act as ministries prompting widespread confusion about who was actually in charge of Baghdad.

       

    Al-Zubaidi said he had been elected by people representing a cross section of the Iraqi society -- although he did not clarify how or when the vote happened.

     

    Offer to co-operate

       

    US Central Command said on Sunday that Al-Zubaidi had issued a statement before his release pledging to work with the "coalition authority" towards rebuilding Iraq.

       

    It quoted him as saying: "I am not the mayor of Baghdad, nor am I interested in working independently of the coalition to achieve what we all understand to be the same goal - peace and prosperity for all Iraqis."

       

    Lt. Gen. David McKiernan, head of US land forces in Iraq, said "There will be officials elected and appointed who will represent Iraqis. I hope that, like we did with Al-Zubaidi, we can work with those Iraqis who want a better future for Iraq."

       


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