BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq arrested dozens of security officials over bombings that killed 155 people and vowed to arrest more security officers suspected of colluding with the bombers or dereliction of duty, an official said on Thursday.
Two-high profile attacks over the last two months have raised pressure on Iraq’s developing military and police, which are taking over security from U.S. troops as Washington draws down ahead of an eventual pull-out in 2011.
Baghdad security spokesman Major-General Qassim al-Moussawi said that Iraqi forces had seized 11 high-ranking military and police officials, 50 policemen and all the police officers in charge of 15 checkpoints near where Sunday’s bombings occurred.
The men would be investigated to see if they had any involvement in the attacks or had failed at their jobs.
Moussawi said that officers, foot soldiers and police in areas where attacks happen would be arrested in the future and placed under investigation.
“The investigative committee decided to arrest leaders responsible for security checkpoints if security violations (in their area) happen in the future,” he said.
Iraq frequently arrests members of the police and military forces after major attacks, but it has not been an official policy before.
Suicide bombers linked to al Qaeda struck two government buildings in Baghdad on Sunday, killing people and ripping through cars and buildings in the area, prompting a wave of public anger directed at the security forces.
A previous attack on August 19 against the finance and foreign ministries killed nearly 100 people and prompted a rare admission of culpability from the security forces.
The nation of around 30 million people is trying to revive a moribund economy after years of war, neglect and sanctions. Although violence has fallen in Iraq over the last two years, attacks are still common.