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Iraq's Maliki: Insurgents Asking for Amnesty

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says several insurgent groups have inquired about the amnesty offer in his new national reconciliation plan. Maliki insists amnesty would not apply to those who have killed U.S. soldiers or Iraqis, but some analysts say the government's position may change.

Just two days after announcing his national reconciliation plan, Maliki reported that several insurgent groups have contacted his office or other government ministries to open a dialogue. Speaking on state television, Maliki stuck to the position he carved out Monday, that the amnesty offer will not apply to insurgents who have taken lives in the violence.

Some insurgent groups have already rejected the amnesty offer. Ansar al Sunna, a group reportedly linked to al-Qaida, put out a statement on an Islamist Web site saying it will never compromise. It also urged all insurgent groups to remain united against the government.

Prime Minister Maliki continues to talk up his reconciliation plan, and the benefits coming to those who sign up. His prisoner-release program includes provisions for detainees to return to their jobs. Students who were in prison won't be failed for missing exams.

But as the government pushes the reconciliation plan, the violence goes on. A suicide car bombing near a Sunni mosque in Baquoba, northeast of Baghdad, killed one Iraqi. Another died in a roadside bombing that targeted a U.S. military convoy in Baghdad.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jamie Tarabay
After reporting from Iraq for two years as NPR's Baghdad Bureau Chief, Jamie Tarabay is now embarking on a two year project reporting on America's Muslims. The coverage will take in the country's approx 6 million Muslims, of different ethnic, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, and the issues facing their daily lives as Americans.