Iraq places almost 50,000 fighters in state jobs

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BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s government says it has found jobs for nearly 50,000 Sunni fighters who played a key role in U.S. efforts to fight insurgents.

The head of an Iraqi national reconciliation committee said Tuesday he hopes to place all the estimated 96,000 members of the Sons of Iraq movement in government jobs by the middle of the year.

Many of the Sons of Iraq were former insurgents who switched sides and joined American forces in trying to subdue al-Qaida and other militant groups.

Iraq’s Shiite-led government has reluctantly agreed to absorb 20 percent of the fighters into state security forces.