Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat—The political bloc led by Iraq’s parliamentary speaker has called for action to tackle a spate of assassinations in the city of Fallujah, in Iraq’s troubled Anbar province.
MP Khalid Al-Alwani, a member of the Mutahidoun Coalition, issued a statement on Wednesday that said: “The security situation in Fallujah is getting worse, especially with a malicious plan that targets the people of this great city.”
He called on the government “to open an urgent investigation into the assassinations . . . in the city since 2005 . . . because the issue cannot go unchallenged.”
Alwani said: “The city of mosques, science and scholars has been subject to great harm—more than any other city—since the arrival of the American occupiers and the elimination of its scholars and tribal leaders.”
Meanwhile, Alwani praised the decision by the Al-Anbar Governorate Council “to dismiss the governorate’s police chief” and called on the Interior Ministry’s undersecretary, Adnan Al-Asady, to “respond urgently to the decision which aimed to improve the security situation in the governorate.”
The council decided recently to dismiss provincial police chief Gen. Hadi Ruzaij because of the security problems which have blighted the governorate. His assistant, Col. Jasim Al-Dulaimi, was appointed as acting police chief for the second time in two years.
Hamid Al-Mutlaq, MP for a constituency in the same province and a member of the parliamentary Defense and Security Committee, told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the government is doubly responsible for what is happening, once because it is a government that, according to the constitution, is responsible for the protection of all people without prejudice, and because of its silence over the armed militias that recently became active in various areas of Baghdad, as well as Diyala Governorate.”
Mutlaq added: “What is happening can no longer be tolerated, especially that there are those who are killing and displacing others while holding state identification papers and driving state vehicles, which means that either the government is aware and is silent about the militia’s actions, or that it is weak and its departments [have been] infiltrated.”
He said: “There is a plan that targets Iraqis and those who implement this plan have links with the government and are inside the government.”
In response to a question on whether the Iraqiya List would include these issues in its election manifesto, Mutlaq said: “The situation has gone beyond election manifestos. It needs to be in everyone’s daily procedures, because people’s blood cannot be this cheap.”
Mutlaq called for “the government and its senior officials to be put on trial if they are no longer able to provide protection for people, because either it is party [to the crimes] and must be tried, or silent and is also responsible.”
Sheikh Khalid Hmoud Al-Jumaili, an organizer of regular anti-government protests in Fallujah, was killed by unknown assailants on December 1 in the center of the city, in front of the protest area.
Fallujah has also seen the assassination of several tribal leaders and judicial officials with gunfire and bombs in recent weeks. The mayor of Fallujah, Adnan Hussein, was killed on in an armed attack on November 13, while inspecting a public service project in the Shuhada district, south of the city.