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Iraq: U.S. Forces Arrest 15 Ba'athists At Baghdad Police Academy

Baghdad, 31 May 2003 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. forces today raided Baghdad's police academy, arresting 15 senior officers holding a secret meeting of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party. Bernard Kerik, the U.S. adviser to the Iraqi Interior Ministry, said U.S. military police staged the raid after receiving a tip-off about Ba'ath Party activity within the academy. The dean of the academy was among those detained.

Kerik said the arrests were carried out in compliance with tough new de-Ba'athification measures imposed earlier this month by the U.S. civilian administration. All former middle- and high-ranking Ba'athists have been barred from public service.

Kerik said an investigation was underway to determine how the arrested officers had retained their jobs following the toppling of the Hussein regime.