Saturday, April 28, 2007

Shia-Sunni Divide In Middle East

UPDATE: Check out the new blog covering the Mid East: Outsider On The Inside

Another example of the growing Sunni-Shia divide between Middle Eastern leaders, with a senior intelligence source claiming Saudi Arabia's King Abdallah has denied Iraqi Prime Minister entry into the Kingdom because of what he claims is a lack of protection for Iraqi Sunnis on the part of the government:

(CNN) -- Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has denied Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki entrance into Saudi Arabia, according to a senior Saudi intelligence source.

The king believes al-Maliki, who wanted to go to Saudi Arabia on a state visit, is not doing enough to protect Sunnis from attacks by Shias, the source said.

The Saudi kingdom is a Sunni-dominated state.

There was no immediate reaction from al-Maliki's office.

Meanwhile, troops captured four suspected members of a secret terrorist training network in Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

The network takes militants from Iraq to Iran for training, and transports explosives from Iran into Iraq, the military alleges.

"Intelligence reports also indicate the secret cell has ties to a kidnapping network that conducts attacks within Iraq." the military said.

The suspects were arrested in the Baghdad Shiite stronghold of Sadr City, where support for Iran is high. The Bush administration has long insisted that Iran is helping insurgents create chaos in Iraq.

Many of the powerful, improved explosive devices used in Iraq, and the parts used to make them, have been coming out of neighboring Iran, the U.S. military said.

It's just a small bit of the article, but if true, I'd imagine the story will develop over the next few days. We'll keep watching it.

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