Iraq PM's secretary executed on video and 19 others killed
INSURGENTS bent on wrecking Sunday’s elections yesterday killed 20 people, including the Iraqi prime minister’s secretary, and bombed polling stations within the country’s Sunni heartland.
The violence included the execution of four Iraqi National Guards and claimed the life of a US marine.
A videotape also appeared on a website apparently showing the killing of a man described as the secretary of the Iraqi prime minister, Ayad Allawi.
The tape, said to have been issued by a group led by al-Qaeda ally Abu Musab al- Zarqawi, showed Salem Jaafar al-Kanani speaking to the camera before he was shot several times while lying on the ground.
Meanwhile, US soldiers stepped up operations ahead of the election, moving to forward positions around Baghdad, where they will remain until the end of balloting, and tightening security at their main bases, a brigade commander said.
The interim government will deploy an additional 2,500 troops to help guard the elections, the defence ministry said. A total of 300,000 Iraqi and multinational troops will provide security, with Iraq’s US-trained forces taking the lead.
About 9,000 Iraqi troops were also being dispatched to guard oil pipelines, which insurgents have repeatedly attacked.
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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