First group of Iraqi women security volunteers join program in Diyala

Around 70 women clad in black abayas fanned themselves in a courtyard at a police station Sunday as Iraqi officials and US troops gathered to celebrate the graduation of the first Daughters of Iraq group in this volatile area. The group of women security volunteers was formed in an effort to stop female suicide attacks in Diyala province, still torn by violence. The women will begin searching other women at checkpoints, schools and hospitals next week. The group of 70 represented a total of 130 women who graduated after a five-day training course. They join the ranks of several hundred US-allied male security volunteers countrywide, called the Sons of Iraq. Unlike their male counterparts, however, the Daughters of Iraq will not carry weapons.