Iraqi Police Cleared in Sunni Woman's Alleged Rape

Three officers of the Shiite-dominated police force have been cleared of allegations that they raped a Sunni woman in their custody, a government statement said Tuesday.

The statement by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's office accused "certain parties" — presumably Sunni politicians — of fabricating the allegation to discredit the security forces during the ongoing Baghdad security operation.

The 20-year-old married woman said she was assaulted after police commandos took her into custody Sunday in the western Baghdad neighborhood of Amil, accusing her of helping insurgents. She said she was taken to a police garrison and raped.

"It has been shown after medical examinations that the woman had not been subjected to any sexual attack whatsoever and that there are three outstanding arrest warrants against her issued by security agencies," the government statement said.

"After the allegations have been proven to be false, the prime minister has ordered that the officers accused be rewarded," it said without elaborating.

There was no comment from Sunni officials, who expressed outrage over the woman's allegation and demanded swift punishment. Sunnis blame the police for many of the death squad killings of Sunnis over the past two years.