The assassination of Sheikh Ghazi Jabouri, a prominent Sunni Imam in the Al- Adhamiya district of Baghdad, has raised fears of renewed sectarian violence in the wake of the Mar. 7 elections.
Tensions have been reported in the area following the assassination Wednesday last week. At least two gunmen killed Sheikh Jabouri, 42, as he walked home after completing morning prayers at the Rahman Mosque.
His brother Sarmad Faisal Jabouri, like many Iraqis in Adhamiya district, blames the government. “We hold the government fully responsibility for the killing of my brother, because they are supposed to be in control of security at the entrances and exits to the area,” Jabouri said.
The attack came on a morning when a high-ranking officer in Iraq’s anti- terrorism police was killed by a bomb planted in his car. The attack also killed two nearby policemen.
The violence comes amidst a wave of increasing attacks across the capital, and amidst political instability in the wake of last month’s elections, that have yet to yield a clear winner.
The U.S. fears that rising sectarian violence could begin to match the 2006- 2007 sectarian violence that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths across the war-torn country.