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Iraqna executives ‘detained’

17 Dec 2004

According to the Financial Times, two executives of Iraqna, the Iraqi wireless operator backed by Egypt’s Orascom, have been detained by US and Iraqi forces. A spokesperson for Cairo-based Orascom said the troops seized money, computers and mobile phones from the men’s houses before detaining the men. Iraqna won a licence in October 2003 to operate a wireless network in central Iraq. Security advisors working with Iraqna had repeatedly warned that the company was coming under increasing pressure from both rebels and US forces as it struggled to maintain services in the insurgent strongholds of Falluja.

In a separate, but related incident a director general at the Iraqi Communications Ministry was assassinated in Baghdad yesterday. Qassim Mehawi’s duties included responsibility for the country’s three wireless networks.

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