Iraq Legalizes Civilian Possession of Guns amid Security Handover
    2012-05-06 22:28:00     Xinhua       Web Editor: yangyang66

The Iraqi government on Sunday legalized the possession of one gun in each house in the country, as Iraqi army soldiers started the gradual handover of security control to the police, government officials said.

Iraqi government spokesman Ali Dabbagh said in a statement that the Iraqi security authority "decided to license a rifle or a pistol in each house, on condition that the owner must register it (the gun) in the nearest police station."

Dabbagh warned that those who violate the decision will be punished according to the law, adding that the interior ministry will soon issue instructions to facilitate the implementation of this decision in coordination with the commands of the security in Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces.

The decision came as some Iraqi army unites recently started to hand over the security control of some neighborhoods in Baghdad and other provinces to the Iraqi police forces, in a signal that the security situation is improving, an interior ministry source anonymously told Xinhua.

The transfer of security control will depend on the security situation of each province and will continue until the interior ministry takes over the full control of security across the country, the source said.

Violence in Iraq has ebbed from its climax in 2006 and 2007 when sectarian conflicts pushed the country to the brink of a civil war, but sporadic shootings and bombings still occur across the country.

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