BAGHDAD (AFP) — Iranian secret service agents are working to "sabotage" the operations of groups fighting Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Baghdad's intelligence chief said on Wednesday.
Mohammed Abdullah Shahwani issued the statement shortly before a landmark visit to Baghdad on Sunday by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
"We have information confirming that Iranian secret services have sent agents to sabotage the Sahwa experience in Iraq," the statement said, referring to mostly Sunni groups fighting Al-Qaeda in Iraq alongside the US military.
Shahwani "stressed the need for the Iraqi people to be vigilant in facing these activities."
He also urged Iraqis "to consolidate the security gains that have been achieved in Iraq and that all citizens are benefitting from."
There are about 90,000 members of the Sahwa, or "Awakening" forces across Iraq, according to the US military which pays them about 300 dollars a month. The bulk of the fighters are Sunni Arabs, but a good 20 percent of them are Shiite.
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