A civilian receiving medical treatement in Ba'qubah following the November violence there (epa)
January 29, 2007 -- Some 1,500 police officers in Iraq's Diyala Governorate and the mayor of the provincial capital, Ba'qubah, have been fired.
Provincial police chief Ghanim al-Qureyshi said on January 28 that the officers fled rather than fight when Ba'qubah was attacked by insurgents in November 2006.
He also said Mayor Khalid al-Sinjari was suspected of collaborating with Sunni insurgents. Al-Qureyshi took over police operations in the volatile province northeast of Baghdad after his predecessor was sacked last month.
Meanwhile, British Defense Secretary Des Browne arrived in Baghdad for an unannounced visit on January 28.
The British Defense Ministry said Browne is scheduled to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and President Jalal Talabani to assess progress on the ground.
British forces have turned over to Iraqis security responsibility for two of the four southern provinces they controlled.