Prominent Sunni Sheikh Wounded in Attack That Killed Five

Sunday: 5 Iraqis Killed, 4 Wounded

by , August 19, 2012

A prominent Sunni sheikh was targeted for assassination after he led Eid prayers today in Baghdad. He survived, but others in his convoy did not. Due to the Eid al-Fitr celebrations — which were delayed when the new moon was not sighted as expected — very few attacks have been reported over the holiday weekend. In this one attack, five people were killed and four were wounded.

Sheik Mahdi al-Sumaidaie was wounded during an assassination attempt that left four guards dead and three wounded. One bystander was also killed. The sheikh’s car was stopped by one vehicle shortly after the sheikh had finished leading Eid prayers at a mosque. A second car then crashed into his and blew up. He was then taken in critical condition to hospital for surgery on shrapnel wounds to his head. Some sites have already reported his death.

A prominent Sunni cleric, al-Sumaidaie at one time lead a Salafist group that called for attacks against U.S. troops. He returned last year, from Syria, to work on reconciliation efforts between Sunnis and Shi’ites. It is perhaps these efforts that made him a target.

Read more by Margaret Griffis