BAQOUBA, Iraq (AP) – Drive-by gunmen killed three prominent Iraqi tribal members in an attack on their car north of Baghdad on Thursday, police said.
The three sheiks were killed while heading to a funeral in Khan Bani Saad, about 40 kilometers (25 miles), northeast of Baghdad, Diyala police’s Joint Coordination Center said.
The attackers were in a minibus when they fired machine-guns at the sheiks’ vehicle, police cited eyewitnesses as saying.
Police identified the victims as Sheik Mindah al-Khafaji, 55, a clan leader and head of Khan Bani Saad tribal council; Sheik Hanash al-Moussaoui, 45, a member of Khan Bani Saad’s local council; and Raad Ahmed Chibish al-Jibouri, 45, a Sunni Arab member of the tribal council.
Police initially erroneously identified one of the victims as a Shiite sheik, Raad Ahmed al-Moussaoui.
Khan Bani Saad is a predominantly Sunni Arab town of about 40,000 people on the edge of Diyala province, which borders Baghdad. It has been the scene of previous attacks targeting religious leaders and supporters of U.S.-led reconstruction.