Two policemen shot dead by gunmen in Diyala as tribal feuds flare

Iraqi police forces in Diyala

Baqubah ( Two policemen were killed by unknown gunmen in Diyala’s city of Baqubah on early Thursday, an attack coinciding with bloody tribal feuds that required security intervention.

Local sources told Alsumaria News that two policemen were shot dead in an attack that targeted a police checkpoint in Abi Sayda, northeast of Baqubah.

Though the region frequently witnessed militant activity, with Islamic State militants recently stepping up attacks against civilians and security across Iraqi provinces including Diyala, it is not yet clear whether the attack is linked with tribal encounters that broke out on Wednesday.

Sources said early Thursday that armed encounters flared between feuding tribes in Abi Sayda, forcing official institutions and schools to close down, and totally paralyzing daily life in the area. Security reinforcements were sent to the scene of clashes to contain the encounters and prevent civilian losss.

According to a monthly count by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), 1115 civilians were killed in violence during March.

Violence surged in Iraq with the emergence of the Islamic State in 2014 to proclaim a self-styled “Islamic Caliphate”. The group’s reign took on an increased civilian toll that added to killings occurring since the U.S. invasion in 2003.

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