A gunman killed one of Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi’s bodyguards before opening fire in Baghdad

The two men, identified as Mustafa Sanhjari and Marwand Ayad, had entered the ceremony at the Babylon Palace in Baghdad wearing civilian clothes and opened fire. The gunman who tried to assassinate Iraqi Prime…

A gunman killed one of Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi’s bodyguards before opening fire in Baghdad

The two men, identified as Mustafa Sanhjari and Marwand Ayad, had entered the ceremony at the Babylon Palace in Baghdad wearing civilian clothes and opened fire.

The gunman who tried to assassinate Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad on Friday killed one of his bodyguards and wounded the prime minister before being shot dead by police, officials said, Reuters reported.

The two men, identified as Mustafa Sanhjari and Marwand Ayad, had entered the ceremony at the Babylon Palace in Baghdad wearing civilian clothes and opened fire.

Interior Ministry spokesman Brigadier General Saad Maan said Sanhjari’s gun jammed when it was fired.

Sanhjari had last year been sentenced to death by an Iraqi court in a mass execution case related to the Mahdi Army, a militia group that fought U.S. troops in 2007 and was disarmed by the government two years later.

Abadi was wounded in the back but his injuries were not life-threatening, a senior Interior Ministry official said.

“One of the guards was killed in the attack, and the prime minister was lightly wounded in the back,” Maan said.

“The prime minister was driven out of the palace by his convoy and was given first aid at a nearby hospital before being transferred to a national guard camp for further treatment.”

Earlier in the day, a powerful government official was killed by an explosive device inside a massive ball of fire in central Baghdad.

Hossam al-Khafaji, a senior official with the government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, was driving a car when the device detonated, security officials said.

Multiple government offices were heavily damaged in the blast, which occurred as the official was about to enter his office in central Baghdad’s sprawling fortified Green Zone.

Police were seen gathering at the scene, with lines of empty cars strewn along the road.

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