SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani on Sunday condemned the killing of eight civilians in Saladin, calling on authorities to bring perpetrators to justice.
“We strongly condemn that heinous crime in Farhatiyah town in Balad district in the province of Saladin, where a number of civilians were victimized,” Barzani said in a statement on Sunday.
On Saturday, Saladin Governor Akar Jabir Khalil said 12 civilians including children were kidnapped by unidentified militants in Farhatiya town in southern Saladin. The security forces later found bodies of eight of them.
“The killing happened in an area between a Hashid al-Shaabi unit and a commando regiment of Iraqi interior ministry,” Khalil said in a statement.
Barzani called on the federal government to accelerate investigation to find the “terrorist group which is behind this crime” and bring the perpetrators to justice.
He also called on the political parties to support the government to prevent threats and crimes against civilians and institutions.
Earlier on Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi arrived in Saladin to hold a meeting with security and military officials in the governorate.
The Iraqi premier was accompanied by ministers of defense and interior, Hashid al-Shaabi chairman, chief of staff of the army and deputy commander of joint operations.
Kadhimi, who is also Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces, said he visited the province to “confirm that the state is in place to protect the security of citizens and establish pillars of law, especially after the heinous crime that Saladin recently witnessed,” his office said in a statement.
“The state will protect you,” Kadhimi said in remarks to the province’s citizens.