Islamic State officials behind Baghdad bombing killed, prime minister says

Feb 4, 2021

Two Islamic State officials who allegedly facilitated last month’s double suicide bombing in a crowded Baghdad marketplace have been killed, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi says.

Abu Hassan al-Gharibawi, commander of IS forces in southern Iraq, and Ghanem Sabah Jawad, who had a role in transporting suicide bombers, were killed in an airstrike west of Baghdad on Tuesday near Abu Ghraib, Kadhimi said on Twitter the same day.

The airstrike was carried out by the US-led international coalition to defeat IS on intelligence gathered by Iraqi authorities, Iraq’s Security Media Cell said. Members of an infantry unit from Iraq’s 17th Division later arrived on the scene and reportedly found suicide vests among the bodies.

Brig. Gen. Yehia Rasool, a spokesman for Kadhimi on military matters, said Gharibawi — also known as Jabbar Ali Fayyad — supervised the Jan. 21 twin suicide bombings at Tayaran Square which killed more than 30 people and wounded more than 110. Jawad “was responsible for transporting the suicide terrorists,” Rasool said.

The two are the latest senior IS officials killed by the international coalition since last month’s bombings.

The man believed to have been IS’ top leader in Iraq, Abu Yasser al-Issawi, was killed last week in the Wadi al-Shay area outside Kirkuk. Iraq’s Counterterrorism Service had at first said Iraqi soldiers had shot him in an operation involving the US-led coalition. The coalition later said Issawi was killed in an airstrike.

The killings come after Kadhimi vowed to crack down on security lapses and hunt down the remnants of IS following last month’s massacre in Baghdad. The capital has enjoyed relative security from IS attacks in recent years since the government declared victory over IS in 2017.

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