Baghdad budget increases arms cash

Iraq's US-backed interim government is to spend over $2.2 billion on its security forces, a sum that represents some 11% of the country's total budget.

    Iyad Allawi wants Iraq to buy new modern weaponry

    Speaking at a Baghdad news conference on Tuesday, interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said Iraq needed to equip the police and army with "new modern weaponry that will enable them to protect the country".

    "We have therefore decided to earmark $2.2 billion for this purpose." The sum represents about 11% of the total projected expenditures for 2005 of $19.5 billion.

    "This sum will grow gradually. The army will be the lynchpin of the security forces. We have decided to concentrate on modernising its weapons. We've already started to do that."
       
    Allawi said he wanted to equip Iraq with an air force and boost the strength of the military from the current 66,000 personnel to 150,000, about the level of US troops currently in the country.

    The interim PM's comment comes as two more members of his Iraqi National Accord party were killed in the last 24 hours. Some 22 of his political supporters have been shot dead in the last two months, according to party official Imad Shibib.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.