PM attends funeral ceremony of top guard killed in clashes with Shiite militias

A Shiite fighter from Saraya al-Salam

Baghdad ( – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi attended on Wednesday the funeral ceremony of one of his top bodyguards, who was killed in clashes with the Shiite militia of Saraya al-Salam (Peace Brigades) earlier on Tuesday.

In a statement, a copy of which was obtained by Alghad Press, the Iraqi defense ministry said, “Brig. Gen. Sherif Ismail el-Morshedy, the commander of the 57th brigade of Abadi’s protection service, breathed his last while on duty after undisciplined personnel shot him dead near a central checkpoint in Samarra.”

Abadi offered condolences to the martyr’s family and ordered a probe to be opened into his death.

He also praised sacrifices made by the late commander in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group.

According to the statement, the funeral ceremony was held at the defense ministry’s headquarters in the presence of Defense Minister Erfan al-Hiyali.

Commenting on the incident, Saraya al-Salam blamed Abadi’s guards for the death of Morshedy after they attacked its personnel deployed at a security checkpoint between Samarra and Tikrit in Salahuddin.

In December, Muqtada al-Sadr, the head of the Sadrist Movement, announced disbanding Saraya al-Salam brigade, urging the members to evacuate its headquarters and turn in their weapons to the government.

The brigade took part in the summer of 2014 in the liberation of Salahuddin and Samarra from Islamic State militants.

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