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Iraq PM sacks Baghdad security officials

8 July 2016 14:58

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Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has dismissed a number of high-ranking officials responsible for security in the capital, including the head of the Baghdad Operations Command.

A statement posted on his Facebook page on Friday said three top officials in charge of Baghdad’s security were dismissed after a bombing over the weekend killed nearly 300 people.

The statement said Abadi had fired the commander of military operations, security services and intelligence in the capital.

The bombing in Baghdad’s Karrada neighborhood on Sunday was the deadliest in Iraq since US invasion of the country 13 years ago. It caused outrage at the inadequacy of emergency services and the security apparatus.

On Thursday, at least 37 civilians lost their lives and 62 others were injured when Daesh militants carried out a bombing and shooting attack near a holy Shia mausoleum north of the Iraqi capital.

A terrorist blew himself up at the external gate of the mausoleum of Sayyid Muhammad bin Ali al-Hadi (PBUH) last on Thursday in the city of Balad north of Baghdad. Militants then stormed the site and started shooting at pilgrims.

Another bomber detonated his explosives in the middle of the crowd, who were celebrating the end of the fasting month of Ramadan but security forces killed a third bomber and defused his explosives.

Takfiri militants also fired several mortar rounds at the mausoleum during the attack.

The attack came as the death toll from Sunday’s car bombing in busy commercial areas of the Iraqi capital climbed to 292.

According to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, a total of 662 Iraqis were killed and another 1,457 wounded in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in June.

According to the UN mission, the number of civilian fatalities stood at 382. Violence also claimed the lives of 280 members of the Iraqi security forces.

A great portion of the fatalities was recorded in Baghdad, where 236 civilians were killed.

The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since Daesh terrorists mounted an offensive in the country in June 2014.

Iraqi army and volunteer forces have liberated several key cities and are preparing for a final push to retake the country’s second city of Mosul.

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