Iraqi authorities have detained four armed American nationals over what the officials described as “suspicious” activity in the capital, Baghdad, Press TV reports.
Iraqi sources said the suspects, including two women, were arrested on Thursday as they were found traveling in a BMW car with a local license plate, instead of diplomatic registration.
The US nationals were wearing flak jackets and were armed with pistols equipped with silencers and automatic weapons when they were arrested in a Shia neighborhood in central Baghdad.
The four were detected and booked by Baghdad Governor Salah Abdel-Razzaq’s special guards, and were sent to the military’s sixth brigade for preliminary interrogations.
The arrests come shortly after the United States pulled out some 48,000 remaining American troops from Iraq to end its nine-year occupation of the oil-rich country.
The US Embassy in Baghdad has declined comment on the incident, which is seen as a violation of a security pact signed between Baghdad and Washington, under which all US soldiers were to exit Iraq by the end of 2011.
In 2003, the US and its allies invaded Iraq under the pretext of finding weapons of mass destruction allegedly stockpiled by the executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
However, later it was revealed that not only did not the Iraqi regime possess the weapons, but also that the US and British leaders, who had defended the military action, were already informed on their non-existence.
The US military invasion and occupation has left more than a million Iraqis killed, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored.
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