Iraqi Doctor Says He Killed Patients

By John Ward Anderson
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, March 27, 2006

BAGHDAD, March 26 -- A doctor has admitted killing at least 35 Iraqi police officers and army soldiers by giving them lethal injections, reopening their wounds or engaging in other deadly acts while they were being treated at a hospital in the northern city of Kirkuk, according to Kurdish security sources and Kurdish television.

Kurdish television broadcast on Sunday what it said was the doctor's taped confession, in which he told police that he sympathized with the radical Sunni Arab insurgent group Ansar al-Sunna. He said that the group paid him to kill the men and that he did it because "I hate the Americans and what they've done to Iraq."

"I injected more than 35 policemen and soldiers, including officers and some who were slightly injured," the doctor, identified by a Kurdish security official as Luay Omar Taie, said in the taped statement. "I used to stop the breathing machines or cut the electricity in the operations room or reopen the wounds."

A senior official with the police intelligence agency of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), who declined to be quoted by name, confirmed the details of the case, which was first reported by the Independent newspaper in London. The circumstances of the alleged confession, including whether it might have been coerced, could not be verified.

Taie was arrested following the detention of members of a criminal gang with links to Ansar al-Sunna. The gang is responsible for kidnapping more than 150 people and executing 18 of them, the PUK intelligence official said. Arrests of insurgents soon followed.

During interrogations, the insurgents identified Taie as a doctor who had treated them. The organization selected Taie because he was young and wanted money, the official said.

In the statement aired on Kurdish television, the doctor said he was paid up to $100 for each act he committed. He asserted responsibility for killing the assistant police chief in Kirkuk, Gen. Ajman Abdullah, with a fatal injection and said he also killed the general's brother, a soldier who was admitted to the hospital after being wounded by a roadside bomb.

The doctor said he helped a wounded insurgent escape from the hospital. The intelligence official said Taie also advised insurgents on how to forge documents to claim that U.S. forces had shot their members, so that they could be treated at a hospital in Mosul, about 100 miles away.

Another Washington Post staff member contributed to this report.

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