Key Iraqi Sunni MP Assassinated in Suicide Attack Near Fallujah

Several Bodyguards, Two Civilians Killed in Strike

by Jason Ditz, January 15, 2013

Sectarian tensions in Iraq are likely to grow considerably worse today after the assassination of Ayfan Essawi, an Anbar Province MP from the Sunni Iraqiya bloc. He was killed in a suicide attack against his convoy, just south of Fallujah.

Essawi was reportedly on his way to join the anti-government protests in Anbar Province at the time of the attack. In addition to the MP, four of his bodyguards and two civilians were reported slain.

Assassination attempts against government officials involved in the anti-Maliki protests have grown increasingly common in recent days, with Finance Minister Rafi Essawi (no relation to Ayfan Essawi) narrowly escaping an attempt on his life over the weekend.

Fellow Iraqiya MP Mohammed Khaldi and parliamentary speaker Osama al-Nujaifi of the Sadrist Trend urged government investigation into the security breeches that led to the assassination.

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