Iraq's Prime Minister Iyad Allawi shot dead as many as six suspected
insurgents last month, just days before Washington handed political control
over to his new government.
Two separate witnesses said that the prisoners, blindfolded and handcuffed,
were lined up against a wall in a courtyard next to a maximum security cell
at al-Amariyah prison in Baghdad. Allawi then pulled out a pistol and shot
them in the head, telling policemen that he was setting an example on how
to deal with resistance fighters. Allawi is said to have told onlookers
that the men "deserved worse than death".
Some 30 witnesses are said to have been present in the compound when Allawi
paid a surprise visit to the security facility to reassure police officers
that they would be protected from reprisals if they killed insurgents in
the course of their duty.
The claims, first published in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday and
written by the distinguished Australian journalist Paul McGeough, have
raised fears that Dr Allawi is returning to the cold-blooded tactics of his
predecessor, Saddam Hussein, and has led to urgent calls for the Red Cross
to launch an investigation