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US transfer of militant to Iraq on hold

Iraq's Justice Ministry says plans to transfer a top Hezbollah commander who's being held in Baghdad from US to Iraqi custody have been put on hold.

world Updated: Jul 22, 2011 14:29 IST

Iraq's Justice Ministry says plans to transfer a top Hezbollah commander who's being held in Baghdad from US to Iraqi custody have been put on hold.

The turnabout Friday comes as 20 US senators ask the Pentagon to take "whatever steps you can" to prevent the transfer out of fear that the militant, Ali Mussa Daqduq, will escape or be released by Iraq's government.

Just two days ago, Justice Ministry spokesman Haidar al-Saadi said the US would transfer custody of Daqduq by the end of this week.

US forces have held Daqduq since his 2007 capture for allegedly training Iraqi militants to target American soldiers.

He is one of about 10 detainees whom the US must either prosecute or hand over to Iraq by the end of the year.