World, Middle East

Iraqi premier to oversee intelligence reforms

Following market bombing in capital Baghdad, Al-Kadhimi sacked 5 prominent intelligence, army chiefs after bombings

Ibrahim Saleh   | 22.01.2021
Iraqi premier to oversee intelligence reforms

BAGHDAD, Iraq 

Iraq's prime minister said Friday that he would personally oversee reforms to address "challenges" in the country's intelligence services in the wake of Thursday's deadly bombing.

This came in an urgent meeting with the country's Defense Minister Juma Inad and Interior Minister Othman Al-Ghanimi, along with security chiefs over the aftermath of twin bombings at a popular market in Baghdad that left 32 dead and 110 wounded.

In a statement, al-Kadhimi said officials who are not capable of protecting citizens must "step down from his position."

He said the bombing was a "breach" that would not be allowed to occur again. "We promised our people with security [...] and this breach is an indication that there is a defect that must be addressed urgently," he said.

Al-Kadhimi stressed that there were "challenges in the intelligence services that must be addressed urgently and I will personally supervise this issue and therefore we will impose a new situation [...] and take urgent measures."

"We have made a series of changes in the security and military structure and are working on developing a comprehensive and effective security plan to meet the upcoming challenges," referring to the early parliamentary elections scheduled for Oct. 10.

On Thursday, Al-Kadhimi sacked five prominent commanders in the intelligence services and army, hours after the bombing.

Daesh claimed responsibility for the two explosions and the organization's Amaq agency on Telegram named the attackers as Abu Yusef al-Ansari and Muhammad Aref al-Mujahid, without giving further details.

*Bassel Barakat in Ankara contributed to this report

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