Babylon & Beyond

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IRAQ: The minister of road rage

February 27, 2008 |  1:56 pm

Img_4711_4Iraqi Minister of Electricity Kareem Waheed al-Aboudi is not a popular guy. His government agency can barely provide enough power to keep the country lighted up for more than 12 hours a day.

But his bodyguards sure can pack a punch, according to a group of Iraqi police officers who got into a bloody knock-up with his entourage on Wednesday.

Iraqi police say his convoy nearly hit a police patrol in east Baghdad. The minister's bodyguards got out of their vehicles and began to open fire on the cops.

Then in a scene that could have been from the movie "Goodfellas," the guards started pummeling them, the police officers say. They broke the arm of police Capt. Majid Hameed, ripped off his uniform and tossed his badge onto the roadway within sight of passersby  and the minister himself, police allege.

The guards also began bashing in the head of police Capt. Haidar Shaiaa with their rifle stocks, leaving him covered in blood, and roughed up police officer Abbas Khadim.

The three policemen have filed charges against the minister and his bodyguards.

Borzou Daragahi in Baghdad

Photo: Iraqi Minister of Electricity Kareem Waheed al-Aboudi. Credit: Ministry of Electricity