Iraq: Nine people killed in Diyala farm 'massacre'
Nine people were killed Monday in an attack on farmland in the northeastern Iraqi province of Diyala, according to officials.
The nine victims were on land close to the village of Al-Jayalah, Diyala governor Muthanna al-Tamimi said in a statement Monday.
Major General Ali Fadel al-Omran, the leader of the Diyala Operations Command, told Iraqi news outlet Baghdad Today that the attack took place on Monday afternoon with five of the dead from the same family.
At least two of the victims were women, local media reported, citing a statement from the Iraqi Security Media Cell.
There had been previous altercations between the alleged assailants and victims, Omran said.
The suspected attackers have been identified but are on the run, he added.
Raad Al-Dahlaki, a member of parliament in Diyala province, called the incident a "massacre", saying it and other attacks in the area had been conducted by "militant terrorist groups".
The security situation in parts of Diyala province is fragile, with attacks by remnants of the Islamic State (IS) group on civilian and military targets still frequent.
IS captured swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014 and though they were territorially defeated in Iraq in 2017, remnants of the group are still active in parts of northern and western Iraq.
Iran-backed militias from the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) umbrella group also maintain a presence in the province.