First Published: 2009-06-17

 
Iraq says arrested Sunni MP killer
 

Iraq blames Al-Qaeda for death of Obaidi, killed one day after calling for inquiry into torture in prisons.

 

Middle East Online

Has Al-Qaeda formed an alliance with Iraqi/US torturers?

BAGHDAD - Iraqi police arrested a man on Wednesday over the killing of a senior Sunni Muslim MP and human rights advocate who was shot dead in a Baghdad mosque last week.

Obaidi was killed one day after calling for an independent inquiry into torture and abuse of detainees in Iraq's prisons.

The arrest came after intelligence efforts led police to a house in the western Baghdad neighbourhood of Ghazaliyah, not far from Al-Yarmuk where Harith al-Obaidi was assassinated on Friday.

"We received information from one of our sources in Ghazaliyah that the group involved in the assassination were in one house," said Brigadier General Noaman Dakhil Jawad, the commander of the police's rapid intervention forces in Baghdad.

"We prepared our forces, we raided the house, and we arrested the criminal Ahmed Abed Oweiyed."

Jawad said Oweiyed was alleged to be the deputy commander of Al-Qaeda's military wing in Iraq.

"Through intelligence efforts, we tracked down the criminal who masterminded the killing," he said.

A teenage gunman shot dead Obaidi and his bodyguard in Al-Shawaf mosque in the predominantly Sunni neighbourhood of Al-Yarmuk after Obaidi led worship on the weekly Muslim day of prayer.

The gunman then killed three others and wounded 12 by throwing a grenade into a crowd, before killing himself.

Obaidi, born in 1966, was deputy chairman of parliament's human rights committee and head of the biggest Sunni bloc in parliament, the National Concord Front.

The day before he was killed, he called for an independent inquiry into torture and abuse of detainees in Iraq's prisons.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki led mourners at Obaidi's funeral on Saturday, while Vice President Adel Abdel Mahdi, a Shiite Muslim like Maliki, described the murder as a "brutal crime."

Iraq has seen several political assassinations since the US-led invasion of March 2003.

In February, Islamic Party official Samir Safwat was killed outside his Baghdad home by gunmen in a car. A month earlier, two candidates standing in provincial elections held on January 31 were killed in Baghdad and Mosul.

The US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 is viewed by critics as an 'act of aggression' that violated international law.

Subsequent US occupation policies caused the country to descend into almost total chaos, bordering on civil war.

An estimated 1.3 million Iraqis have been killed in Iraq as a direct result of the invasion, while millions more have fled the country.

Critics argue that the recent stability announced in the country should not excuse the 'crime' of invading Iraq, calling for the prosecution of the war's architects for 'crimes against humanity'.

 

New UN envoy looks to revive talks as battles intensify across Yemen

Civilian massacre in Syria northwestern town of Jisr al-Shughur

Abbas condemns Israel killing of two young Palestinians in separate incidents

Will Somalia Shebab choose Qaeda or Islamic State?

Closure of key trade route deals harsh blow to Jordan economy

Turkey rounds up 350 migrants en route to Europe

Iraq army announces ‘progress’ in Anbar province

‘Islamic State’ suicide bombers target Iraq-Jordan crossing

Four Egypt Islamists killed while preparing bombs

Extremist groups capture last major regime holdout in northwest Syria

‘Islamic State’ kills Iraq senior officers in Anbar province

Deadly fighting rages in Yemen southern towns

Entrepreneurs encourage people to ‘buy Syrian’

Over 100 children killed in Yemen since March 26

Libya militia alliance 'carries out air raids' against IS

UN 'confident' rebels will sign Mali peace deal

Petraeus gets two years probation for info leak

Iranian ships turn back from Yemen

Palestinians mourn as Jews celebrate

UN chief set to appoint Mauritanian diplomat as Yemen envoy

Obama takes 'full responsibility' for deaths of Qaeda hostages in US operation

Turkey warns Austria over decision to condemn ‘Armenian genocide’

Yemen conflict poses dangers across Gulf of Aden

Hopes for final deal on second day of Iran nuclear talks in Vienna

Security tightened at Saudi shopping malls

US returns stolen Egypt artifacts

EU mulls military action against human traffickers in Libya

Libyan journalist shot dead in Benghazi

Arms experts warn of 'Faustian bargain' with Iran

Fresh Saudi-led air strikes target Yemen rebels

Rebel-IS clashes in Syria kill at least 42 fighters in 24 hours

Who’s more dangerous: Jihadists who left their countries or those staying at home?

France foils 'imminent' attack by jihadist sympathiser

Algeria army kills three armed Islamists west of capital

Israel removes Palestinian teen's name from memorial wall

Egyptian businessman testifies at Al-Jazeera retrial

Kenya asks donors to save world’s largest refugee camp

Sanctions, possible Congress intervention to dominate fresh nuclear talks

Arab army chiefs kick off work on building regional force

One year after agreement, Palestinian reconciliation hits rock bottom

Arab coalition resumes airstrikes against Huthi rebels

UN member states urged to protect Iraqi cultural sites

London mulls ways to help Europe's refugee crisis

Finalising of Iran nuclear deal set to begin

Saudi–led coalition declares end to Yemen air war