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Iraq: PM sacks 5 senior security chiefs following deadly bombings in Baghdad

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi in Ankara, Turkey on 17 December 2020 [Ali Balıkçı/Anadolu Agency]
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi in Ankara, Turkey on 17 December 2020 [Ali Balıkçı/Anadolu Agency]

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi has announced the firing of five senior security officials, stressing that he would personally oversee reforms to address "challenges" facing intelligence services in the country, Anadolu Agency reported on Friday.

Following a meeting with Defence Minister Juma Inad, Interior Minister Othman Al-Ghanimi and security chiefs in the aftermath of the twin bombings at a popular market in Baghdad that left 32 dead and 110 wounded, Al-Kadhimi asserted that he would personally oversee the security "challenges" in the country.

In a statement reported by Anadolu Agency, Al-Kadhimi declared that officials who are not capable of protecting citizens must "step down from their position."

Al-Kadhimi indicated that the bombing was a "breach" that would not be allowed to occur again. "We promised our people security," he said, "and this breach is an indication that there is a defect that must be urgently addressed."

He stressed that there are: "Challenges in the intelligence services that must be addressed urgently, and I will personally supervise this issue, and therefore we will impose a new situation and take urgent measures."

READ: Baghdad bombing sparks global condemnation

The prime minister added: "We have made a series of changes in the security and military structure and are working on developing a comprehensive and effective security plan to meet the upcoming challenges."

According to Anadolu Agency, Daesh claimed responsibility for the two explosions, and the organisation's Amaq News Agency, via the mobile app Telegram, named the attackers as Abu Yusef Al-Ansari and Muhammad Aref al-Mujahid without giving further details.

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