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New Security Plan Aims to Stabilize Baghdad

As part of a new Baghdad security plan, U.S. and Iraqi forces arrested the Iraqi deputy health minister, who is accused of funding and protecting Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's militia. A New York Times reporter updates the continuing efforts to stabilize Baghdad.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    Our Iraq update comes from Damien Cave of the New York Times in Baghdad. Judy Woodruff talked with him earlier this evening.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Damien Cave of the New York Times, thank you very much for being with us.

  • DAMIEN CAVE, New York Times:

    My pleasure.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    I want to begin with the story you've written about, the arrest today of the deputy health minister in the Iraqi government, charged with helping the Shiite Mahdi army, charged with siphoning funds and helping those insurgents. Tell us what's behind that story.

  • DAMIEN CAVE:

    Well, he's been accused of funneling money that was originally slated to pay for health care in Iraq, to Shiite militias and even using ambulances to ferry weapons and militants through Sadr City in advance of American raids. It's a pretty strong accusation, and he appears to be the most senior official accused of direct ties to militias or the sectarian violence here in Iraq so far.

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