Kurdish civil defence chief, family shot dead in northern Iraq

Wext: Saturday, 29.May. @ 00:00:00 CEST



KIRKUK, Iraq, May 28 (AFP) - 8h02
- The Kurdish chief of the civil defence force in the northern oil centre of Kirkuk and his family were killed early Saturday in a drive-by shooting, police said.

"Assailants opened fire on his car at 8:50 am (0450 GMT) in the city centre. General Saber Mohammed Saber was shot dead on the spot," said Kirkuk police chief Shirku Shaker Hakim.

Sabar's wife, sister and son were taken to hospital, where they later died, Hakim added. The driver of the car was seriously wounded.

Ethnic unrest has run high in Kirkuk since the US-led invasion last year, as the city's Kurdish majority has clamoured to be incorporated into the autonomous Kurdish region further north.

On Friday, a Turkmen Iraqi was killed in an attack on the headquarters of a Turkmen party by a rival pro-Kurdish faction in Kirkuk, police said.

On May 11, four people were killed and 25 wounded in an explosion in a Kurdish district of the city, 255 kilometres (160 miles) north of Baghdad.

The uneasy ethnic mix of Turkmen, Kurds and Arabs has degenerated into violence on several occasions.

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