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Multiple local government officials assassinated north of Baqubah


A significant set of attacks were reported in Diyala province. On the afternoon of 24 October, armed individuals shot and killed three local GoI officials and multiple other individuals during separate incidents in areas of the Abu Sayda sub-district, located north of Baqubah. An individual initially described as a local policeman shot and killed Abu Sayda Mayor Harith Saadun al-Rubai’I in Thyaba village. According to Abu Sayda Local Council Security Committee chairman Awad al-Rubaie, the mayor was suspected of being killed by a former bodyguard who invited him to his home for lunch. Later that afternoon, gunmen also killed Abu Sayda Local Council head Saad al-Sariwi, Abu Sayda National ID Directorate head Brig. Gen. Mohammed al-Hamiri, and multiple additional individuals for a total of seven fatalities.

Security forces responded to these events, imposing heightened security measures along with a curfew for Abu Sayda, Muqdadiyah, Wajihiya, and surrounding areas. An investigation was launched to determine the circumstances, with refinements anticipated for the above chain of events. The deaths of three ranking GoI officials during a near-simultaneous set of attacks in the same sub-district, effectively decapitating local GoI leadership, represents one of the most effective sets of targeted killings in recent years. Reports citing a total of seven fatalities further promotes these events as one of the three deadliest attacks seen in Diyala province thus far in 2019.


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