Police taking over Baghdad security

June 4, 2012 at 12:29 PM

BAGHDAD, June 4 (UPI) -- The Iraqi military has begun transferring security in Baghdad to local police following completion of logistical and technical training, officials said Monday.

The newspaper al-Shorfa said Ali al-Dabbagh, spokesman for the Iraqi government, confirmed the army -- including the 16th and 17th divisions, its rapid intervention forces and the Baghdad security brigade -- started withdrawing as scheduled.

The transfer is to be completed by July 1, the report said.

Official military reports said army sites and barracks were gradually withdrawing and handing over their positions to police forces at the request of the Defense Ministry.

The handover had been delayed several days after the armed forces raised some security concerns, but al-Dabbagh said the ministry believed the local forces had been adequately trained to do the job.

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