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Baghdad Governor Suspends Cooperation With U.S. Forces

(RFE/RL) March 27, 2006 -- Baghdad provincial Governor Husayn al-Tahan said he is suspending all cooperation with U.S. forces until an independent investigation is launched into the killing of 20 Shi'a, allegedly in or near a mosque.

Speaking to reporters in Baghdad, al-Tahan said, "Today we decided to stop all political and service cooperation with the U.S. forces until a legal committee is formed to investigate this incident."

He said the inquiry panel should include representatives from the U.S. Embassy and the Iraqi Defense Ministry, but not the U.S. military.

Followers of radical Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr blame U.S. forces for killing the 20 Shi'a in and around a mosque in Baghdad on March 26.

The U.S. military denies the charges, saying Iraqi forces backed by U.S. advisers killed 16 insurgents in an operation in the same neighborhood.