Iraqi interior minister quits following Baghdad bomb attack | News | DW | 05.07.2016
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Iraqi interior minister quits following Baghdad bomb attack

Iraq's interior minister, Mohammed Ghabban, has quit, following the recent bombing in Baghdad that killed more than 200 people. The minister was responsible for overseeing the removal of fake handheld bomb detectors.

"I placed my resignation before the prime minister," Ghabban told a news conference in Baghdad.

Ghabban offered to resign on Tuesday, saying a deputy would take over his responsibilities, two days after one of the worst bombings in Baghdad since the 2003 invasion.

The attack sparked anger among many Iraqis, who have accused the government of not doing enough to protect them.

Over 200 people were killed in an "Islamic State" ("IS") bomb attack in the city, with IS claiming responsibility.

The car bomb that exploded in a crowded shopping area in Baghdad early on Sunday was from Diyala province, north of the capital, and was thought to have passed through a security checkpoint on its way in, Ghabban said.

"The checkpoints are absolutely useless," he said.

Ghabban said prior to his resignation that he had inherited the problem. He also promised to set up a committee to see whether the devices work, describing the problem as "bigger than the Ministry of Interior."

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Fake devices

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi demanded later on Sunday that the security forces remove handheld bomb detection devices from checkpoints and that the Ministry of Interior reopen its investigation into corrupt deals when purchasing the devices. The devices were reportedly still in use in Baghdad the following morning.

The device - known as the ADE 651 - was sold to the Iraqi government by James McCormick, a Briton who was sentenced to 10 years in prison by a court in the UK in 2014 for fraud, having been arrested in 2010 when exports of the device were banned by the UK government.

IS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but has since lost significant ground to Iraqi forces, most recently in Fallujah.

jbh/kms (AFP, Reuters)

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