87 Iraqi Civilians Join Defense Corps

From Associated Press

In a former palace of Saddam Hussein, U.S. soldiers presented 87 Iraqis with daggers and certificates Thursday to mark their graduation as members of a civilian force expected to assume some security functions from U.S. forces.

The graduates, almost half of them former soldiers in Hussein's army, are members of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, which will patrol and help guard public buildings. They will be armed with rifles seized from the Iraqi army or Hussein sympathizers. The first class of guards graduated in Tikrit in September.

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