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Armed men shoot dead tribal leader in Iraqi capital

14 February 2015 20:20

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Officials and security sources say unidentified gunmen have fatally shot a tribal leader and at least seven other people in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad.

A senior member of lawmaker Zeid al-Janabi’s staff, speaking on condition of anonymity, said gunmen manning a fake checkpoint stopped the convoy carrying the legislator and kidnapped all who were on board late on Friday.

The assailants later released the parliamentarian but killed the tribal leader, Qassem Sweidan al-Janabi, as well as his son and at least six other people who had been on the convoy.

Adnan al-Janabi, an Iraqi MP, said the assassinated tribal leader had “a known history of confronting terrorism, sectarianism, and supporting national reconciliation.”

“Parliament will not remain silent in the face of acts that might undermine the authority of the state,” Janabi said, adding that the assassination demonstrates that some people in Iraq are “working to sabotage the achievements of the state.”

Parliament Speaker Selim al-Juburi also condemned the assassination and demanded a probe into the lethal attack.

Nikolay Mladenov, the United Nations’ Iraq envoy, also called for the attackers to be brought to justice.

According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), a total of 1,375 Iraqis lost their lives last month, while 2,240 others were injured.

The UN mission added that 790 civilians were among the fatalities. The number of civilians injured also stood at 1,469. Violence also claimed the lives of a further 585 members of the Iraqi army, while 771 others sustained injuries.

A great proportion of the casualties were recorded in Baghdad, where 256 civilians were killed and 758 others wounded.

ISIL militancy and Iraqi army response

The Takfiri ISIL terrorist group started its campaign of terror in Iraq in early June 2014. The heavily-armed militants took control of the city of Mosul before sweeping through parts of the country’s Sunni Arab heartland.

Iraqi soldiers, police units, Kurdish forces, Shia volunteers and Sunni tribesmen have recently succeeded in driving the terrorists out of some areas in Iraq.

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