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Last Updated: Monday, 9 October 2006, 16:49 GMT 17:49 UK
Iraq police rebrand to foil fakes
Iraqi police new uniforms
The new uniforms feature "digital camouflage" like US battle dress
Iraqi police are being issued with new uniforms to stop death squads dressing up as members of the security forces to commit sectarian murders.

The new kit includes camouflage dress similar to that used by the US military which is difficult to counterfeit.

Officials say many attacks are carried out by impostors in police uniforms, although critics say some Shia police collaborate with Shia militiamen.

Thousands of people have been killed in sectarian violence in Iraq since 2003.

These new garments will not be counterfeited
Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has vowed to take action against the militias, but correspondents say there has been little to show for his pledge.

Newly-garbed police paraded in front of Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani at a ceremony at a police compound in Baghdad.

"These new garments will not be counterfeited," Mr Bolani promised.

The US general responsible for training Iraq's police welcomed the new uniforms.

Iraqi police new uniforms
Police vehicles are to get new markings as well
"This is a great day for Iraq," said Gen Joseph Peterson.

"Policemen, national policemen, border policemen have paid a great price over the last couple of years here in Iraq to build the forces that are necessary to provide safe and secure environment to the people of Iraq."

Uniforms have serial numbers which are to be linked to a database of ID photographs of the officers they are issued to, police officials said.

In addition, police vehicles are being given new standard markings.

A senior police officer told AFP news agency that the uniform was also more comfortable than the old standard issue.

"I am happy with this clothing. It is light for the policeman to wear and walk in the street," Col Abdul Munim said.

Earlier on Monday, gunmen dressed as police broke into the home of the brother of Iraqi Vice-President Tariq al-Hashimi and shot him dead.

They drove off in 11 police vehicles, police officials were quoted as saying.

Last week an entire police brigade was moved from Baghdad for retraining, following allegations it had participated in attacks on Sunni Muslims alongside Shia militiamen.

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