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Al-Sadr’s Brother-in-Law Shot, Killed in Iraq

April 11, 2008 04:40 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Top Sadrist political aide and Sadr family relative Riyad al-Nuri was killed while driving home from Friday prayers in the nearby city of Kufa.

30-Second Summary

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A local police officer and a Sadrist political informant, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed al-Nuri’s assassination to the media.

City officials announced an immediate curfew and security patrols were deployed on the streets.

Muqtada al-Sadr is a Shia cleric and the leader of the Sadrist Movement, a main opposition group to the Iraqi government; it seeks to institute Shia interpretations of sharia law. Reuters describes al-Sadr as “fiercely outspoken” and “popular among Iraq’s poor, urban, Shiite majority.”

The city of Najaf, located in southeastern Iraq on the Euphrates River, is home to Sadrist party headquarters, but most of Sadr’s backers live in Kufa.

According to a report from the Associated Press, Nuri had passed through two security checkpoints on the drive back to his neighborhood, but “gunmen were waiting for near his home, where no security forces were present.”

U.S. armed drones fired and killed six gunmen in Sadr City, according to the American military. Another six militants were killed by British forces in Basra, a Mahdi Army hotspot. Sadr’s insurgent group, the Mahdi Army, was formed after the toppling of Saddam Hussein from power in April 2003.

British and American coalition forces deem unrest in Basra late last month a severe threat to stability in Iraq. An editorial in the Financial Times said it could “be the prelude to a deadly new phase in Iraq’s multi-cornered civil war.”

Headline Links: Al-Sadr confidant gunned down in Kufa, Iraq

Background: Al-Sadr calls for cease-fire

Opinion & Analysis: ‘The Basra fight for Shia supremacy’

Reference: The Mahdi Army

Related Topics: ‘Assault by Iraq on Shiite Forces Stalls in Basra’

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