Daesh kills 3 Iraq village chiefs in a week

The latest victim, on Friday night, was mukhtar of the village of Mahmudiya near the town of Hawija. (File/AFP)
Updated 03 November 2018
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Daesh kills 3 Iraq village chiefs in a week

  • Daesh has attacked state infrastructure and government officials, especially targeting local administrative heads known as “mukhtars”
  • The latest victim, on Friday night, was mukhtar of the village of Mahmudiya near the town of Hawija

KIRKUK: Extremists have killed three village chiefs in less than a week in Iraq’s restive north, local officials said Saturday, as the targeting of state representatives escalates.
Iraq declared victory against the Daesh group last year, but small extremist cells still wage attacks, especially in mountainous areas like the northern province of Kirkuk.
There, Daesh has attacked state infrastructure and government officials, especially targeting local administrative heads known as “mukhtars.”
The latest victim, on Friday night, was mukhtar of the village of Mahmudiya near the town of Hawija.
The town has long been a bastion of radical Muslim groups and was one of the last Daesh holdouts retaken by government troops last year.
Mahmudiya mukhtar “Abdallah Al-Wasmi was executed by Daesh members who attacked his home,” a local security official told AFP.
His death followed the similar killing of the mukhtar of a nearby village, Hanutiya, late Wednesday.
And on Monday, a provincial official told AFP that “Daesh fighters attacked the home of Mohammad Jumaa, the mukhtar of the village of Jassemiya,” also near Hawija.
“They took him out of his house and executed him in front of it before fleeing,” the official said.
The recent killings bring to nine the number of village chieftains executed by Daesh in the past seven months in Kirkuk province.


Top Netanyahu challengers unite for Israeli elections

Updated 13 min 3 sec ago
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Top Netanyahu challengers unite for Israeli elections

  • Polls suggest together the two could surpass Netanyahu’s ruling Likud to become Israel’s largest faction
  • Elections will happen on April 9

JERUSALEM: Israel’s primary centrist challengers to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have announced they are joining forces.
Ex-military chief Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party, said early on Thursday they’ll present a joint list for the upcoming Israeli elections that “will constitute the new Israeli ruling party.” In a joint statement, the two said they were “motivated by national responsibility.”
A formal announcement is expected later.
Polls suggest together the two could surpass Netanyahu’s ruling Likud to become Israel’s largest faction after the April 9 vote.
Under their unity arrangement, the two agreed to a rotation leadership under which Gantz would first serve as prime minister and would be replaced by Lapid later. In contrast to Netanyahu, they say they will “heal the divide within Israeli society.”