Iraqi Interior Ministry announced, on Monday, that 16 of Vice-President Tarek Al Hashemi’s bodyguards were arrested for assassinating officers and judicial investigators with silenced weapons.

“Security forces in Interior Ministry arrested 16 of Vice-President Tarek Al Hashemi’s bodyguards,” Interior Ministry said in a statement issued, on Monday, and which Alsumarianews received a copy of. “Detainees used silenced weapons to assassinate Interior Ministry Officers and judicial investigators,” the statement indicated.

“Detainees were arrested following a series of pursuits and confessions by their colleagues, and they confessed for their crimes,” Interior Ministry added, noting that their files will be appended to Tarek Al Hashemi’s file that was opened, in the end of December, following confessions of his senior security officers about performing many terrorist crimes they used to perform.

On Sunday 29, Hashemi launched an international campaign to pressure Iraqi Government to release two employees in his office, one Christian and the other Shiite, who were arrested January first by an Intelligence Brigade under the authority of Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki, a source told Alsumarianews.

Hashemi’s temporary office declared, for its part, launching a campaign to defend the two employees captured during arrest operations against Hashemi’s employees and bodyguards for terrorism related charges.

In the same context, Amnesty International expressed fear that Iraqi security forces might be torturing and mistreating the two employees, and criticized having arrested them without an official arrest warrant.