Tuesday, January 18

Iraq: investigation opened for civilians killed during pursuit by security forces

(Belga) The security forces in Iraq have announced the opening of an investigation after the death Thursday of several civilians killed during the pursuit of two individuals “accused of terrorism” in a village in the center of the country, according to an official statement.

At first, three different security sources assured AFP that a maniac entrenched in his home in Iraq had killed a dozen members of his extended family, including children, before committing suicide to escape the forces of security came to stop him. The tragedy took place in the village of al-Rachayed, in the central province of Babylon, when units of the rapid intervention forces (special forces) and intelligence wanted to storm a man’s home. “accused of terrorism,” a first security source told AFP. “The security forces pursued two individuals accused of terrorism (…). After being surrounded, they opened fire indiscriminately on the forces,” then announced an official statement from the police. The press release specifies “an investigation was opened after the discovery of a certain number of corpses of citizens in a house in the area”. The state news agency INA reported on a mission carried out by a unit to arrest “wanted people who were hiding in a house, the owner of which opened fire on the security forces”. “Upon entering the house which the owner refused to surrender, the unit found that all of his family, numbering 20 civilians, died in the house,” the agency said. An intelligence source assured AFP that the wanted accused was part of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS). Iraq declared its victory against ISIS at the end of 2017. But the jihadists continue to carry out ad hoc attacks against the security forces, especially in the north. But southern and central Iraq are important routes for drug trafficking, and security forces have stepped up operations in these areas, announcing several raids. The sale and use of drugs has been booming for several years in Iraq. The authorities regularly announce the seizure of drugs or the arrest of traffickers, particularly along the very long border with Iran. (Belga)


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