Wednesday, June 28, 2006

No amnesty for killers of U.S. troops - Iraqi PM

BAGHDAD, June 28 (Reuters) - Insurgents who have killed U.S. troops in Iraq would not be pardoned under the Iraqi government's amnesty plan, American newspapers quoted Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki as saying on Wednesday.

On Sunday, Maliki, a Shi'ite who has pledged to ease violence gripping Iraq, unveiled a "national reconciliation" that included an amnesty for insurgents "who did not take part in criminal and terrorist acts and war crimes".

"The amnesty doesn't include those who have killed Iraqis or even coalition forces because those soldiers came to Iraq under international agreements to help Iraq," Maliki said in an interview with a group of newspapers that included The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post.

The announcement of the vaguely worded plan prompted a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers to condemn any move that would pardon insurgents who had attacked U.S. soldiers. More than 2,500 American soldiers have died in Iraq since the 2003 invasion.

Maliki has said the plan is aimed at bringing Sunni Arab insurgents into the political process.

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