PM al-Kadhimi pays condolences to Karbala mayor’s family after confronting killer

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi promised the killer would be brought to justice during his visit with al-Khafaji’s family members.

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Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi visited the family of the slain Karbala mayor on Wednesday.

Mayor of Karbala, Abeer Salim al-Khafaji, was killed on Tuesday after a gunman opened fire on him, shooting him in the chest.

The mayor was reportedly conducting an inspection of unauthorized construction sites. The perpetrator allegedly owns a property whose construction was halted by the mayoral office.

Al-Khafaji was known to be popular among Karbala residents.

The footage released after the killing of al-Khafaji showed security forces accompanying the mayor failing to intercept the perpetrator’s attack. Footage also reveals police escort did not pursue the assailant.

Interior Minister Othman al-Ghanimi declared the security forces on duty during al-Khafaji’s killing would be arrested for malpractice.

The killer was allegedly a member of the Dawa Party and working for former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s son-in-law. Maliki is the founder and the head of the Dawa Party.

Dawa Party issued no statements on the assailant’s party membership.

The killer, Hussein al-Saadi, was apprehended shortly after the news broke about the mayor’s murder. Prime Minister al-Kadhimi and Interior Minister al-Ghanimi paid a visit to Karbala where they confronted al-Saadi. Al-Kadhimi’s official Twitter account posted a picture from the murder site, featuring al-Kadhimi questioning al-Saadi who was blindfolded.

“PM al-Kadhimi stresses the need for the judiciary to take its role in retribution against the killer so that this is an example to others, and to all those who transgress against state employees during the performance of their duties,“ the tweet read.

PM al-Kadhimi’s government previously pledged to bring to justice those responsible for committing attacks against civil activists and government officials. However, the government has not shown any progress in prosecuting armed groups responsible for mass killings and targeted assassinations.

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