Sunday, April 17, 2005

Allawi Blames al Qaeda For Madaen Mass Kidnapping

Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi says that al Qaeda (and, by implication, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, self-proclaimed al Qaeda leader in Iraq) is responsible for the kidnappings of up to 150 Shiites in the Iraqi town of Madaen. From ITV News (UK):
"Unfortunately, evil powers are trying to disturb the peace of our country, stop progress, destroy Iraq, keep killing innocent civilians and planning for the start of ethnic, sectarian and religious division," Mr Allawi said in a statement.
Meanwhile, terrorist Zarqawi claimed on an Islamist website that the kidnapping story was fabricated to justify the raid. From Reuters India:
"The infidels fabricated the case of the hostages. They are lying," the Sunni group led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said in the statement on an Islamist Web site.

"The infidels and apostates incited them (Shi'ites) to lie so that they can invade Madaen as they did Falluja ... and other cities."

"The enemies of God, the pagan guards and police -- helped by the crusaders and Jews -- raided Sunni homes, beat up Sunnis in front their families, arrested them and took them to (the southeastern city) Kut for no reason or crime,"
The fact that Zarqawi's statement refers to fellow Muslims as "pagans" would seem to lend credence to the theory that al Qaeda staged the kidnappings to incite sectarian violence.