Irfan Saadullah says he was attacked by a rival candidate and up to 20 armed men. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Irfan Saadullah, a Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) candidate for Diyala province, claims he has been attacked and injured by armed men in Khanaqin, a town in the disputed territories.
Saadullah, who is candidate number 11 on the local KDP list, claims he was assaulted by members of Hashd al-Shaabi’s Fatih (Conqueror) Coalition.
“I was attacked and inured today at 10am by Sherko Abdulaziz, a candidate running on Fatih List, and some of his armed people,” Saadullah told Rudaw.
“Two military cars stopped suddenly. The Fatih candidate asked why I was swerving in their direction while driving. Nearly 20 armed persons beat and injured me. I was accompanied by only one person,” he added.
“I am at the police station to file a suit, and will the go to the hospital for treatment.”
The Fatih Coalition is a new political grouping established to contest the May 12 Iraqi parliamentary election. It is composed of senior members of the Iranian-backed Shia militias of Hashd al-Shaabi, who formally suspended their military ranks in order to run for election.
Khanaqin is an ethnically mixed town in the disputed territories near the Iranian border. After the October events, Kurdish Peshmerga forces were pushed out of the area by Hashd and Iraqi units.
Residents of the town are fearful of attack by ISIS sleeper cells operating in the nearby Hamrin Mountains.
This is a developing story…