Baghdad - An official with the Iraqi government-sanctioned umbrella of mainly Shiite paramilitary groups says a militia commander was arrested after he criticised Iran’s influence in the country.

The official from the Popular Mobilisation Forces said on Friday that Aws Al Khafaji, commander of the Abu Al Fadl Al Abbas Brigade, was detained the previous night.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to reporters.

Al Khafaji had earlier told a local TV station that Iraqis should not only oppose American and Turkish presence in Iraq but also Iran’s interference.

A statement from the Popular Mobilisation Forces says four Baghdad offices of Al Khafaji’s group were closed because they were located in residential neighbourhoods. It said members were arrested after rejecting the closure.