Muslim cleric survives assassination attempt in Najaf

A still image taken from a video posted to a social media website said to be shot on May 3, 2017, shows what is said to be the site of a car bomb in what is said to be Azaz, Syria. Social Media Website via Reuters TV

Najaf ( A Muslim cleric has survived an assassination attempt, leaving him wounded in Najaf, an informed security source said on Tuesday.

“Sheikh Fadel al-Bedeiri has been wounded in the head as he survived an assassination attempt, which took place as he finished prayers in his office in Najaf,” the source told Alghad Press. The attackers targeted him using three hand grenades.

“The first grenade targeted those accompanying al-Bedeiri, which killed three of them. The second and third grenades directly targeted the sheikh,” the source said. “Ambulance transferred the sheikh to al-Imam Ali Hospital in Najaf as he was in coma.”

Earlier on the day, six persons were killed and injured in two blasts in north and west of Baghdad.

Violence in the country has surged further with the emergence of Islamic State Sunni extremist militants who proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

A monthly count by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), which excludes security members deaths, said 297 Iraqis, were killed and injured due to violence and armed conflicts during the month of ِAugust. Baghdad was the most affected province with 45 deaths and 135 injuries.

Baghdad has seen almost daily bombings and armed attacks against security members, paramilitary groups and civilians since the Iraqi government launched a wide-scale campaign to retake IS-occupied areas in 2016. While most of of the explosions and attacks went without a claim of responsibility, Islamic State has claimed several incidents.

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