18-10-2019 04:22 PM Jerusalem Timing

Suicide Bomber Assassinates Head of ‘United Iraq’

Suicide Bomber Assassinates Head of ‘United Iraq’

A suicide bombing in northern Iraq on Wednesday assassinated the leader of a provincial political party and four of his relatives on the eve of elections his bloc was to participate in.

Iraq attacks (Archive)A suicide bombing in northern Iraq on Wednesday assassinated the leader of a provincial political party and four of his relatives on the eve of elections his bloc was to participate in.

Yunus al-Ramah, head of the United Iraq party, had been hosting a social gathering at his home in the town of Al-Hadhr, in Nineveh province, when the attack took place.

Ramah's United Iraq party is seen as allied to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. He was not running in the June 20 polls, but several of his party members were candidates.

The attack comes ahead of Thursday's elections in Nineveh and Anbar provinces where polls were delayed by officials who cited security concerns.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but militants linked to Al-Qaeda have sought to intimidate candidates, particularly in a bid to derail elections in some areas of Iraq.

There has been a heightened level of unrest since the beginning of the year in Iraq, coinciding with protests erupted in late December.

Political leaders have pledged to resolve outstanding disputes, and Prime Minister Maliki has met with two of his main rivals in a bid to ease tensions, but no tangible moves have been agreed.