Iraq: Karbala mayor assassinated by unknown gunmen

Baghdad: Some unidentified gunmen assassinated the mayor of Karbala province in southern Iraq on Tuesday, local media reported.

Director of the holy Karbala municipality, Abeer Salim Al-Khafaji, was on an inspection visit to the Mualemchi district in the city where unknown gunmen opened fire on him.

The unknown armed men reportedly shot three bullets at him.

“Governor Abeer al-Khafaji was assassinated while on an inspection campaign against violations in public streets,” Karbala Governor Nassif Jassem al-Khattabi said in a statement.

“The victim was working day and night in order to serve the community and the public interest,” he added.

The mayor was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital but died of his serious injuries.

The minister of interior, Othman Al-Ghanimi, on Wednesday ordered the detention of the security force that was accompanying the victim, Iraq News Agency reported.

About Karbala

Muharram – the first month of the Islamic calendar – also revives grim memories of the massacre of Imam Hussain, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and 72 of his followers, who were all brutally martyred in the battle of Karbala in southern Iraq in 680 AD, at the hands of Yazid’s army.

The tragedy of Karbala, which is more than 1,400 years old, is clearly remembered year after year.

On the day of Ashura – the tenth day of Muharram – Imam Hussain, son of Hazrat Ali (a.s) and Bibi Fatima (a.s) stood in front of Yazid’s army for the last time to convince them to step back of their planned massacre.

The battle progressed in Karbala, the victims ranging in age from old to infant Hazrat Ali Asghar (a.s) – the six-month-old son of Imam Hussain – were all brutally martyred.

The first ten days of Muharram hold great significance for Muslims-especially Shia Muslims- who mourn the death of Imam Hussain (a.s)

The death of Imam Hussain (a.s) took place on the tenth day of Muharram, widely known as Ashura. It is commemorated by Shia Muslims in many ways, including through public expressions of mourning and a visit to the shrine of Imam Hussain (a.s) in Karbala, Iraq.