UNAMI says restraint ‘must’ prevail to thwart attempts to destabilize Iraq

An Iraqi soldier stands next to a flying national flag atop an infantry-fighting vehicle (IFV) outside the southern port of Umm Qasr on November 5, 2019. (AFP photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The United Nations on Wednesday condemned a rocket attack near Iraqi parliament speaker’s resident in Anbar province, saying restraint “must” prevail to thwart attempts to destabilize.

Three Katyusha rockets were fired toward Karma district, the birthplace of newly elected Iraqi parliament’s speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, on Tuesday night, according to the Iraqi military.

One of the rockets fell behind the municipality’s garage, the other landed near a citizen’s house, and the third one fell in al-Rashad area, the military said.

Two civilians were wounded in the attack.

Meanwhile, Iraqi media reported that at least one rocket fell near the resident of the parliament speaker in Karma district.

“We condemn rocket attack near Speaker Halbousi’s Anbar residence, injuring civilians: a cowardly attempt to create chaos,” UNAMI said in a tweet.

“We urge authorities to intensify efforts to prevent such acts and apprehend perpetrators. Calm and restraint must prevail to thwart attempts to destabilize,” it added.

Recently, attacks on residence and headquarters of political parties have increased in Iraq following the re-election of Halbousi as the parliament’s speaker.

Iraq’s parliament, newly elected after an October 10 general election in which the powerful Shia Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr was the biggest winner, voted to reinstate Halbousi for his second term as speaker on January 9.

Shia parties aligned with Iran and which rival Sadr, opposed the selection of Halbousi.

On January 14, explosions hit the headquarters of Halbousi’s Taqaddum party and Azm party of Sunni Muslim politician Khamis al-Khanjar in Baghdad.

Another explosion hit the house of a lawmaker from Taqaddum party in Baghdad on January 16.

Last week, the office of the second deputy of Halbousi, Shakhawan Abdullah, was also attacked by a bomb in Kirkuk.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attacks.

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