BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The Iraqi Interior Ministry on Monday blamed ministry infiltrators for the 2006 killing of the sister of the Sunni vice president.
The assertion was made to reporters by the head of the ministry's department of internal affairs and security, Maj. Gen. Ahmed Abu Ragheef.
Twelve members of a death squad, all but one of whom was working for the ministry, have been detained for kidnappings and killings, including Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi's shooting death, he said.
Nine of the 12 are from the emergency police, one is a traffic police officer, one a facility protection services police officer, and one a civilian, it said. All of them were described as low-ranking employees.
Operating in eastern Baghdad's New Baghdad district, the death squad members used police vehicles and uniforms during their crimes, he added.
Arrest warrants have been issued for 14 other alleged members of the group, most of whom are from Sadr City, said Abdul Karim Khalaf, the ministry spokesman.
Their victims also included ministry officers, officials and an imam, he said.