BAGHDAD, July 8 (UPI) — Three top Iraqi security and intelligence officials, including the commander of Baghdad’s security operations, were fired Friday as Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi comes under increasing pressure to resign after multiple terror attacks left hundreds dead.
Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir al-Shimmari has served as Baghdad’s chief of security forces for several years. Abadi issued an “order to relieve the Baghdad Operations commander of his position,” his office said in a written statement.
The move comes less than a week after a massive truck bomb tore through a shopping area in Baghdad, killing nearly 300 shoppers ahead of the Eid al-Fitr celebration, which ends the holy month of Ramadan. Iraqi Interior Minister Mohammed al-Ghabban announced his resignation after the attack, considered the deadliest since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
It also comes after at least 30 people were killed when three militants dressed in military uniforms detonated suicide bombs at a shrine north of Baghdad on Thursday.
The attack occurred at the Sayyid Muhammad bin Ali al-Hadi mausoleum, a revered site among Shiites. Pilgrims had gathered there to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which ends the holy month of Ramadan. Two of the bombers detonated explosives near the front gate and the third rushed into the shrine, throwing hand grenades.