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Iraqi Interior Ministry Demands Kurds Hand Over Vice President For Trial


Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi

Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi

The Iraqi Interior Ministry has asked authorities in the autonomous Kurdish region to arrest Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi and hand him over for trial.

The ministry in a statement said it had reliable information Hashimi was planning to flee Iraq.

Iraq's Shi'ite-led government issued an arrest warrant for Hashimi, the top Sunni politician, in December on charges he was running death squads.

The move -- which came as the last remaining U.S. troops left the country -- sparked a political crisis and raised fears of renewed sectarian violence.

The crisis has abated somewhat in recent weeks, but Hashimi refuses to return to Baghdad saying he will not receive a fair trial, and Kurdish authorities have so far declined to hand him over.

With reporting by AFP and Reuters
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