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The Mideast

Iraq authorities say 10 of Sunni finance minister's bodyguards arrested on terrorism charges

An Iraqi judicial official says authorities have arrested 10 bodyguards of the country's Sunni finance minister on terrorism-related charges in a case certain to inflame Iraq's political tensions.

Supreme Judicial Council spokesman Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar told The Associated Press on Friday that the chief of Rafia al-Issawi's protection force was arrested Wednesday upon confessions made by some suspects.

Al-Issawi held a news conference late Thursday, angrily denouncing what he called the kidnapping of his guards and members of his staff by a "militia force." He said he holds the prime minister responsible for their safety.

Bayrkdar says the chief confessed that he took part in terrorist attacks.

He says nine other bodyguards were also arrested and under investigation. He did not provide the men's names or give further details.