Half of foreign detainees in Iraq are Saudis

Nearly half of the foreign detainees held in Iraq are Saudi citizens and lists of their names were given to Saudi officials during a recent visit by an Iraqi delegation, national security adviser Mouwaffak al-Rubaie said in remarks aired Monday.

Al-Rubaie's comments to Al-Arabiya television were made during a three-day visit last week to Saudi Arabia in which he met senior officials, including Interior Minister Prince Nayef.

"The Iraqi government says that nearly half of the foreigners in Iraqi prisoners are from Saudi Arabia. Hundreds of them are in Camp Bucca and other prisons controlled by coalition forces," al-Rubaie said. He did not give a total figure of Saudi detainees.

In Iraq, the U.S. Army is holding thousands of prisoners at Camp Cropper near Baghdad airport and in Camp Bucca in the southern desert.

"There are some Saudis who are serving sentences and we have given the brothers, Saudi officials ... lists containing the names of Saudi detainees," he said.

Last week, al-Rubaie said before leaving to Saudi that the majority of the suicide bombers and "those who drive the vehicles to blow up our innocent civilians, Iraqis, are Saudis." Al-Rubaie, who headed the delegation, said then "we need to stop the flow of suicide bombers, we need to stop the fatwas (religious edicts) coming from Saudis to justify the killings of innocent Iraqis."

In the interview with Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya, al-Rubaie said that he raised the issue of fatwas with officials in the kingdom and "we heard very good news." He did not elaborate.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova