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Anbar police chief faces scrutiny

RAMADI, Iraq, July 15 (UPI) -- Provincial council members in the western Iraqi province of Anbar complain the chief of police is not fit for duty because of mounting security violations.

Anbar province, once home to a vibrant al-Qaida insurgency, has witnessed numerous suicide operations targeting the civilian population in recent weeks. A June operation, meanwhile, killed Khamis Matar, a Sunni lawmaker in the Iraqi Islamic Party and husband of an Anbar provincial council leader.

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Provincial leaders say the increase in security violations suggest Maj. Gen. Tareq Youssef al-Osayli, the police chief, is not fit for duty.

Councilman Mizher Hasan told Niqash, a Web site examining Iraqi affairs, that "most of the council's members want to dismiss the police chief" because of the mounting insecurity during his tenure.

Osayli, however, disputes the allegations, saying insecurity does not necessarily equate to negligence.

"There are terrorist acts in all other provinces and this does not imply that we are not taking our responsibility seriously," he said.

Meanwhile, others complain that the swift recruitment of some 28,000 members of the Anbar police force resulted in widespread inefficiencies, calling for the restructuring of the provincial police force "from the top to the bottom."

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