Iraqi Unit Taken Out of Service for 'Complicity' With Militias

Iraqi authorities have taken a police brigade out of service and returned them to training because of "complicity" with militias in the wake of a mass kidnapping in Baghdad this week, a U.S. military spokesman said Wednesday.

The kidnapping took place on Sunday, when gunmen stormed into a frozen meats factory in the Amil district and snatched 24 workers, shooting two others. The bodies of seven of the workers were found later but the fate of the others remains unknown.

CountryWatch: Iraq

Sunni leaders blamed Shiite death squads and suggested security forces had turned a blind eye to the attack.

The top U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell, said the Iraqi police brigade in the area had been ordered to stand down on suspicion of "complicity" with militias and was undergoing re-training.

"The forces in the unithave not put their full allegiance to the government of iraq and gave their allegiance to others," he told reporters. He did not immediately know how many policemen were in the brigade.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry said Tuesday that the commander of the unit had been detained and was being investigated.