At least 2 policemen killed as police clash with Shia militia in Baghdad

Member of the Iraqi police. File photo.

Baghdad ( At least two police officers were killed late Thursday when a Shia militia engaged in clashes with police forces in Baghdad, a security source was quoted saying.

Clashes broke out between police forces and Asaeb Ahl al-Haq in central Baghdad’s Palestine street, the source told Sky News Arabia, but added that the reason behind the clash was unknown.

A spokesperson of the militia, Naeem al-Aboudi, said, however, in a statement quoted by Alsumaria News, that the clashes broke out between police and a group of individuals who claimed affiliation with al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units). He said the militia supports the rule of law and said an investigation would open into the incident.

Asaeb Ahl al-Haq is part of the Shia-led PMU alliance which was formed by a top Shia clergy edict in 2014 to fight the Islamic State alongside the Iraqi government.

Last February, some reports said the group invaded a police station in the southern province of Basra to free members apprehended by police. Another incident saw the group allegedly kidnapping a police officer in the same province in May 2016.

Violence and armed conflicts claimed the lives of 317 Iraqis and caused injuries to 403 others during the month of April, according to a monthly United Nations count.

According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), Nineveh, where U.S.-backed Iraqi government troops are caught up in battles against Islamic State militants in Mosul since October, was the most affected governorate, with 276 casualties (153 killed, 123 injured). Baghdad Governorate followed with 55 killed and 179 injured. Salahuddin came third, with 15 killed and 43 injured.

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