Iran refuses to hand over militant to Iraq.
Abu Deraa, who fled to Iran in 2008, is the nom de guerre of Ismail al-Lami, a military leader of Sadr's Mahdi Army until he was disowned by the militia for alleged atrocities during sectarian Shiite-Sunni conflicts that peaked in 2006-2007. Sunnis had nicknamed him the "Shiite Zarqawi," a reference to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the slain former leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq who had launched a war against the country's Shiites.
Sadr said in a letter released in June that militiamen loyal to Abu Deraa "are criminals without faith and the government should stop them, as well as the people of this district, by engaging tribal leaders or district officials." During the sectarian war of 2006 and 2007 Abu Deraa was accused of killing a large number of Sunnis, whom he had vowed to wipe out from the capital. Tens of thousands of people were killed during that time.
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|Publication:||The Daily Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)|
|Date:||Aug 11, 2011|
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