Iraqi prime minister fires Baghdad security chief, two others over deadly attacks

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.

The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh, claimed responsibility for the bombings. At least 40 people were injured.

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