Members of Iraqi Army and tribal members killed by ISIS car bomb in Shamiya; Protesters announce they will not escalate demonstrations during Pope’s visit

SHAMIYA and NAJAF, Iraq — A car bomb, presumably set by the Islamic State, exploded while being dismantled by an Iraqi Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal team in Shamiya in Anbar Province. The explosion killed several members of the Iraqi Army and local tribal members and left several others wounded.

In other news, demonstrators in Najaf denied their intention to escalate the peaceful protests until the conclusion of the Pope’s visit to the province. Several prominent demonstrators also warned of the potential for groups to disrupt the security situation in Najaf during the Pope’s visit to undermine the protesters.

During a session of the Ministerial Council for National Security on Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi confirmed that he will hold anyone who uses excessive force against demonstrators accountable, pointing out that he issued military directives to prevent the use of weapons in demonstrations.

Kadhimi also stressed that the High Investigative Committee was given one week to uncover the facts of what happened in recent days in the city of Nasiriyah where a number of demonstrators have been killed. He also confirmed that the government had taken the decision to dismiss the governor to send a message to the people of Dhi Qar that they were serious about achieving solutions and preventing violence.