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Sat Nov 17, 2012, 06:42 AM

Iraq releases prisoner, drawing U.S. ire


WATHIQ KHUZAIE/AP - In this July 2, 2007, file photo, U.S. military spokesman Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Bergner speaks during a press conference in Baghdad, Iraq, near a poster of a senior Lebanese Hezbollah operative Ali Mussa Daqduq. The Lebanese militant has been released from custody.

A Lebanese militant who was among the masterminds of one of the most brazen and deadly attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq has been released from custody, Iraqi officials disclosed Friday, a move that immediately drew ire from American officials.

Ali Musa Daqduq, a former U.S. prisoner in Iraq, was the last high-profile detainee being held there at the request of American officials.

The case has long been viewed as a test of whether Tehran’s leverage over Baghdad exceeds Washington’s. Senior U.S. officials had lobbied Baghdad to find a way to keep him in custody. Iran, which sponsored Daqduq and other Shiite militants in Iraq during the war, had pressed for his release.

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