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Iraqi Shiite Militia Detains Commander Who Criticized Iran

Shi'ite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) celebrate on the outskirts of Kirkuk, October 17, 2017

An official with the Iraqi government-sanctioned umbrella of mainly Shiite paramilitary groups says a militia commander was arrested after he criticized Iran's influence in the country.

The official from the Popular Mobilization Forces said on Friday that Aws al-Khafaji, commander of the Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas Brigade, was detained the previous night.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

Al-Khafaji had earlier told a local TV station that Iraqis should not only oppose American and Turkish presence in Iraq but also Iran's interference.

A statement from the Popular Mobilization Forces says four Baghdad offices of al-Khafaji's group were closed because they were located in residential neighborhoods. It said members were arrested after rejecting the closure.