Iraqi PM sacks 3 security chiefs following Baghdad bombing

Iraqi PM sacks 3 security chiefs following Baghdad bombing

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Iraqi premier sacked three Baghdad security chiefs following a devastating bombing in the capital, his office said Friday, July 8, hours after another attack to the north left 30 people dead, AFP reports.

The Islamic State jihadist group said it carried out the latest attack -- on a Shiite shrine in the town of Balad on Thursday evening -- as well as Sunday's bombing which killed 292 people, one of the deadliest to ever hit Iraq.

A suicide bomber blew up a minibus packed with explosives in a Baghdad shopping district teeming with people ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, sparking widespread anger against the government.

Iraq's interior minister tendered his resignation after the bombing but the Friday statement was the first announcing that officials were fired following the attack.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi issued "an order to relieve the Baghdad Operations commander of his position," as well as remove the officials responsible for intelligence and security in the capital, his office said.

The head of the Baghdad Operations Command was Lieutenant General Abdulamir al-Shimmari.

An official in Abadi's office said the others removed were the head of interior ministry intelligence for Baghdad and the official responsible for the capital in the national security adviser's office.

In Thursday evening's attack, militants targeted the Sayyid Mohammed shrine in Balad, 70 kilometres (45 miles) north of Baghdad, killing 30 people and wounding 50, Joint Operations Command spokesman Yahya Rasool told AFP.

The shrine was attacked with mortar fire, then by suicide bombers wearing security force uniforms, Rasool said.

Security forces fired on the bombers, who were not able to enter the shrine, and two of them blew themselves up, while a third was shot dead, he said, according to AFP.

The attack sparked a fire that caused heavy damage to the market near the shrine, an AFP journalist reported.

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