Four al-Qaida leaders executed in Iraq

April 2, 2013 at 9:42 AM

BAGHDAD, April 2 (UPI) -- Four senior al-Qaida leaders were executed after they were convicted of terrorism, Iraq's Justice Ministry said.

One of the men hanged on Monday -- Manaf Abdul-Raheem Abdul-Hameed al-Rawi -- was the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq in Baghdad, CNN reported.

The executions occurred on the same day Iraq's security situation was supposed to discussed during a parliamentary session attended by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, along with the acting ministers of defense and interior, the commander of Baghdad operation command and the chief of Iraq's spy services.

Maliki did not attend the session, but sent a letter to the parliamentary speaker Ossama al-Nujafifi, saying national security could be endangered by discussing sensitive issues in an open session. Maliki suggested a closed session at his office that included only the leaders of the Iraqi political blocs and members of the parliamentary commission for security, CNN said.

After al-Nujaifi read the letter, lawmakers agreed to schedule a closed session next week with Maliki appearing before parliament and discussing security matters with all Iraqi lawmakers, CNN said.

"We will not give up our constitutional duty," al-Nujaifi said. "It can be in a closed session but [Maliki] should attend the parliament and speak in front of all members of parliament."

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