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Iraq denies involvement in Soleimani killing

IIS remarks came in response to recent statements by a security official in the Iraqi’s Hezbollah

Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) yesterday denied recent accusations about its chief Mustafa Al-Kadhimi's involvement in the assassination of the top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani and the Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis in the country's capital city of Baghdad in January.

IIS remarks came in response to recent statements by a security official in the Iraqi's Hezbollah, Abu Ali Al-Askari, in which he accused Al-Kadhimi of being embroiled in the killing of Soleimani and Al-Muhandis in a US airstrike near the Baghdad airport.

"Al-Askari's statements represent an explicit threat to civil peace and offend Al-Kadhimi," an IIS statement was quoted by Anadolu Agency.

The agency added that the accusations were "groundless," noting that it had harmed the reputation of the local security services. "IIS' functions are centred on serving the Iraqi nation and its citizens," the statement pointed out.

READ: Iraq president begins search for new PM-designate

The IIS called for a "legal prosecution to all who use freedom of opinion to promote false harmful accusations to Iraq."

On Monday, Al-Askari said on Twitter that Al-Kadhimi's had helped the US to carry out Soleimani's assassination. He described Al-Kadhimi's candidacy for the Iraqi Prime Minister as "declaration of war on the Iraqi people."

Al-Kadhimi is one of the candidates to head next government following the resignation of the former Iraqi government of Adel Abdul Mahdi in early December.

Iraq's Hezbollah group, which receives training and funding from Iran, accuses Washington of being behind the missile attacks that have been targeting the American embassy in Baghdad for months.

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