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Iraqi Army Had Tens Of Thousands Of 'Ghost Soldiers' On Payroll

An investigation has revealed that there were 50,000 false names on the Iraqi army's payroll.

Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s office said on November 30 that the payments haD been stopped.

AFP news agency quoted a spokesman for Abadi was quoted as saying, “Over the past few weeks, the prime minister has been cracking down to expose the ghost soldiers and get to the root of the problem."

It is thought that the salaries were siphoned off by corrupt officers.

An unnamed officer said the 50,000 names include soldiers who had deserted or were killed in recent fighting.

The development comes after the Islamic State (IS) extremist group launched an offensive last summer and took control of large swaths of territory in northern and western Iraq.

Based on reporting by AFP and the BBC