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. Iraqi army lacks confidence in armoured division
BAGHDAD (AFP) Apr 04, 2005
The Iraqi army has not deployed its mechanised division yet because it lacks confidence in the unit's leadership, outgoing defense minister Hazem Shaalan told reporters on Monday.

"The Iraqi army has an armoured division but has not used it yet because we want to be sure of the loyalty of the commanders," the minister said.

"The fear of a conspiracy, always present in the past, has not completely disappeared," Shaalan said.

Iraq's modern history has been marked by military coups. The constitutional monarchy was overthrown in 1958 by Iraqi generals. Saddam Hussein's' Baath party came to power in 1968 through a military coup.

"We want an honest military that is occupied completely with the country's security," the minister said.

Saddam's army was dissolved in May 2003. The reconstituted army now stands around 60,000 men.

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