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Iraq says it has detained a number of fighters suspected of violating human rights during the three-week-old operation to retake the western city of Fallujah from the Islamic State militant group.

Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi "issued arrest warrants against some suspects who took part in the operation a few days ago," government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi said on June 13. "The prime minister is closely following the investigation and we are still awaiting the results."

Hadithi did not provide details on whether the fighters are from the army or government-sanctioned paramilitary forces, which are mainly made up of Shi’ite militias.

Shi’ite militiamen have been accused of arresting, torturing, and killing Sunnis fleeing Fallujah.

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi said four military personnel were arrested after video footage showed them abusing people displaced from Fallujah.

Anbar Province Governor Sohaib al-Rawi has said more than 640 men had gone missing between June 3-5 and "all the surviving detainees were subjected to severe and collective torture by various means."

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP

Uzbek authorities have released from prison the lawyer of an ethnic Armenian man convicted of Islamic extremism.

The lawyer, Olim Qobilov, was arrested in March and later convicted of bribery and extortion and sentenced to seven years in jail.

Qobilov told RFE/RL by phone on June 13 that he has been released and is currently at home.

He did not elaborate.

In February, Qobilov's client, Aramais Avakian, a 34-year-old ethnic Armenian, was sentenced to seven years in jail on Islamic extremism charges in Uzbekistan's eastern region of Jizzax.

Four other men in the case were sentenced to prison terms between 5 1/2 and 12 years.

Avakian, who was arrested in September, was the only defendant who pleaded not guilty.

Avakian's relatives say local authorities in Paxtakor district trumped up the charges against him in order to take over his fish farm.

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