February 9, 2006


Murder of sheikh provokes Sunnis to turn on al-Qaeda: Ramadi, stronghold of the insurgents, has turned against al-Zarqawi (Anthony Loyd, 2/10/06, Times of London)

REGARDED as untouchable by the Sunni populace, Sheikh Naser Abdul Karim al-Miklif believed that he had no need for bodyguards.

Leader of the huge al-Bu Fahad tribe in Anbar province, the seat of the Sunni insurgency, he was revered by insurgents and local residents alike as a man faithful to the interests of his people. His position of power was unmatched.

Yet three weeks ago, driving alone through the centre of Ramadi in his maroon Mercedes after attending a tribal wake, the sheikh was killed, riddled with bullets by assassins who fired from two passing Opels.

Coming only days after a huge bomb killed more than 80 Sunni police recruits in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar, his killing has sparked a tit-for-tat cycle between Iraqi resistance cells and those they see as responsible for the death of the sheikh — al-Qaeda.

“We aren’t talking about scattered incidents,” a Ramadi man, who is connected with the insurgency, said. “We are talking about many operations with the Mujahidin hunting down al-Qaeda, specific patrols tracking them and killing them in and around Ramadi.”

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 9, 2006 10:21 PM
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