BAGHDAD, Iraq

The Iraqi government decided on Wednesday to ban parties and tribes from carrying weapons, according to the official Iraqi news agency.

Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi said his cabinet held a meeting in the southern Basra province and voted to prevent any party or tribe from carrying arms.

The move came four days after al-Kadhimi ordered the Iraqi army to control the proliferation of weapons in the country.

Arms and weapons are widespread in Iraq, especially in hands of Iranian-backed militant groups, amid accusations for these groups of launching attacks against US targets in the country.

Iraqi tribesmen also possess large numbers of weapons, especially in the southern provinces where tribal clashes regularly erupt between rival tribes.

* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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