Iraqi interim govt launches anti-terror plan

25th November 2003

Iraq's interim Governing Council has launched a "comprehensive" anti-terror plan to stem the rising wave of attacks plaguing the war-ravaged country, said its current president Jalal Talabani yesterday.

"The plan includes military and defensive measures taken by (Iraqi) forces and the political parties," Talabani told a press conference in Baghdad.

Talabani, who heads the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) did not provide further details on the plan, but said that an anti-terror media campaign would be launched throughout Iraq next month.

He said that only "ten per cent of Iraq's territories were affected by terrorism".

In a commentary published in the Wall Street Journal last week, Talabani called those waging attacks on US troops and Iraqis, terrorists forming "a classic unholy Middle Eastern alliance" of Baathists and foreign Islamic volunteers, including members of Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network.

He said that Iraqis must take the lead in defeating terror and suggested recruiting 60 000 Peshmerga (Kurdish guerrillas) who fought alongside the US-led coalition in the war that toppled former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in April. – Sapa-AFP.