Insurgent groups are seeking political role, Iraqi official says

WORLD DIGEST

November 26, 2005|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A senior aide to Iraq's president said yesterday that some insurgent groups had contacted him to discuss joining in the U.S.-backed political process.

Lt. Gen. Wafiq al-Samarraie, the security adviser to President Jalal Talabani, said he had received calls over the past few days from people claiming to represent bands of guerrillas. The general declined to identify the groups or to say how many had called. He also declined to discuss any demands that the groups might have communicated.

"I received phone calls from different movements, different groups, some claiming they represent the resistance," he said. "They said they're ready to participate in the political process."

Those who called him were Islamists and former Baath Party members, al-Samarraie said, but none appeared to be loyal to Saddam Hussein. Many of the groups that the callers claimed to represent, he said, are based in Anbar province, the heart of the Sunni Arab insurgency.

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