At least 11 PMU fighters killed in Daesh ambush north of Baghdad

At least 11 fighters from Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), better known as Hashd al-Sha’abi, have been killed in an ambush by Daesh terrorists north of the Iraqi capital, according to security sources.

The terrorists used light weapons and the cover of darkness to target the PMU fighters east of Tikrit, the capital of Iraq’s Saladin province, on Saturday.

The deadly ambush came two days after a twin suicide attack claimed by Daesh killed 32 people in Baghdad.

One of the Hashd al-Sha’abi officers, named Abu Ali al-Maliki, told AFP that the attack targeted the PMU’s Brigade 22.

He said the brigade commander was among those killed before reinforcements from the federal police came to the unit’s aid.

PMU security sources said the total toll was 11 dead and 10 wounded.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but security sources interviewed by AFP blamed Daesh.

‘Saudi terrorists enter Iraqi’

Meanwhile, a member of the Iraqi Parliament’s Security and Defense Commission announced on Saturday that a group of Saudi terrorists have entered the Iraqi territory via the Arar border crossing with the KSA.

Speaking to Iraq’s al-Maalomah news website, Mehdi Taqi urged security forces to control Arar crossing and closely inspect the checkpoint as it has turned into a gate for arrival of terrorists and suicide attackers in Iraq.

He also blamed Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi for the Thursday blasts in Baghdad, and said the premier has failed in controlling the country’s security conditions.

Some Iraqi security experts say at least 15,000 Saudi-linked terrorists have committed various terrorist crimes in Iraq, 5,000 of whom have blown themselves up in suicide attacks.

340 death sentences upheld as calls for capital punishment grow

The Iraqi presidency has upheld over 340 death sentences issued by various Iraqi courts in terrorist and criminal cases, Iraqi sources reported on Saturday night.

“The sentences were upheld after a close review of the cases from all legal and judicial aspects,” a source told Iraq’s Mawazin News, adding that the Iraqi president’s office will continue to uphold such sentences based on the regular procedures.

Calls for the execution of terrorists imprisoned in the Arab country have grown following the deadly Baghdad blasts, which killed 32 and wounded over 110 others.

Some Iraqi sources say over 6,300 terrorists are on death row only in a prison in the city of Nasiriyah, Dhi Qar province. The Iraqi government needs to spend over $50 million a year to keep them in prison.

Iraq has plunged into chaos since 2003, when the US, backed by the UK, invaded the Arab country under the pretext that the former regime of Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. No such weapons, however, were ever found in the country.

The invasion led to the rise of terrorist groups across the region.

The US and a coalition of its allies further launched a military campaign against purported Daesh targets in Iraq in 2014, but their operations in many instances have led to civilian deaths. 

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