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Iraq arrests gunman in assassination of Karbala mayor

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Abeer Salim al-Khafaji, the mayor of the central Iraqi city of Karbala, was shot dead on August 10, 2021. (Photo by the Iraqi News Agency)

Iraqi security forces have arrested the gunman who assassinated the mayor of the central city of Karbala, Abeer Salim al-Khafaji.

The official lost his life after being shot with three bullets to the chest on Tuesday.

Karbala Governor Nassif al-Khattabi said in a brief statement that the assailant in Khafaji’s assassination had been captured. He, however, did not provide any information about the murderer’s identity, the official Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported.

Khattabi added that Iraqi Interior Minister Othman al-Ghanimi had also ordered the detention of security forces who had been escorting the victim.

Khafaji was assassinated on Tuesday while on an inspection campaign against violations in public streets of Karbala.

A security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the mayor of Karbala was shot along with two municipality employees by individuals who were opposed to the municipality's guidelines.

The source added that the accident occurred on al-Hur Road near al-Safwa College in al-Zahraa residential neighborhood.

The mayor was immediately taken to a nearby hospital but succumbed to his gunshot wounds.

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