Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Three Iraqi National Movement Politicians Gunned Down In Mosul

Mosul is the deadliest city per capita in Iraq, and has been especially so for candidates of Iyad Allawi’s Iraqi National Movement. In the March 2010 election, Allawi’s list took 20 of 31 seats in the province riding on the earlier success of the al-Hadbaa Party, which had swept the 2009 provincial vote there. Since balloting three of Allawi’s candidates have been gunned down in or around the volatile city.

Three politicians from the Iraqi National Movement have been killed before and after the March election. First on February 7 Dr. Soha Abdullah Jarallah was gunned down by two men in front of her house, which also wounded one of her relatives. After the election on May 24, Bashar Agaidi was also shot in front of his house. The final victim was Faris Jassim al-Jabouri. Several men dressed as members of the security forces went into his house and executed him in the town of Mawali, west of Mosul. None of the candidates won enough votes to gain a seat in the new parliament. After Agaidi’s death, Parliamentarian Osama Nujafi of al-Hadbaa said that members of his list were being targeted by terrorists. His brother, Atheel Nujafi who is the governor of Ninewa also complained that the Interior Ministry was not providing police protection to candidates in the governorate. 

A similar series of events occurred in the city before and after the 2009 provincial elections. Then, three members of the Iraqi Islamic Party, a candidate for the Iraq For Us List, a candidate for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law, and the deputy head of the National Dialogue Front were all killed.

All the murders in 2009 and 2010 were the likely work of insurgents. Mosul is the last urban bastion of Sunni militants in the country, and all the deaths with the exception of Jabouri's happened in the Arab western half of the city. While some insurgents supported al-Hadbaa in the 2009 vote, others are opposed to anyone participating in the political process. These unreconcilables are the reason why Mosul remains such a violent and dangerous city for politicians and regular Iraqis alike.

SOURCES

Aswat al-Iraq, “Another Allawi bloc member killed Saturday,” 6/5/10
- “Female candidate assassinated in Mosul,” 2/7/10

Myers, Steven Lee, “Assassination and Candidate Prohibitions Roil Iraq,” New York Times, 5/24/10

Reuters, “Gunmen kill Iraqi who won parliamentary seat: police,” 5/24/10

Schreck, Adam, “3rd Iraqi candidate from Sunni-backed party killed,” Associated Press, 6/5/10

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