Iraq Olympic football team goalkeeper Karrar Ibrahim found dead in car

Iraq Olympic football team goalkeeper Karrar Ibrahim found dead in car
Karrar Ibrahim was found dead in his car in the Al-Saadoun area of the capital Baghdad on Friday, authorities confirmed.
2 min read
11 July, 2020
An investigation found the GK died of a heart attack [Twitter]
A prominent Iraqi football player who represented the country in the Olympics has been found dead in his car, authorities confirmed.

Karrar Ibrahim, who played as a goalkeeper for the Al-Talaba club, died of a heart attack while in his car in the Al-Saadoun area of the capital Baghdad, the Iraq Football Association said.

The ministry of interior ruled out any foul play in his death, noting it was due to natural causes, according to a coroner's report.

Local media had earlier noted signs of suffocation on his body, prompting authorities to launch an investigation into the incident.

The death comes just days after a renowned expert on jihadism was assassinated in Baghdad by unknown gunmen outside his home.

Hisham Al-Hashimi, 47, President Barham Salih called the assassination a "despicable crime targeting the Iraqi person, and his right to a free and dignified life", stressing in a statement that "it is a duty to find the criminals and refer them to justice".

Both deaths also come as Iraq continues to battle with the global coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed the lives of 2,960 in the country and infected more than 73,460.

After seeing a relatively slow spread in the first five months of 2020, cases spiked 600 percent in June alone, according to the International Rescue Committee.

"The rate at which Covid-19 is spreading through Iraq is extremely alarming," said Christine Petrie, IRC's country director.

The country's health system - already worn down by years of war and poor investments - has been overwhelmed by the rising numbers.

Protective equipment, respirators and even hospital beds are all running low, forcing authorities to turn expo centres, stadiums and hotels into coronavirus wards and confinement centres.

Particularly stark is the "severe shortage of oxygen", according to the World Health Organization, which recently airlifted 300 oxygen concentrators to help Iraqi hospitals cope.

Aid has also been donated from foreign countries, most recently Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the US.

Read also: Iraq bans national team footballers for partying during coronavirus lockdown measures

Still, footage shot in hospitals in Iraq's south shows patients struggling to breathe without access to respirators as their family members berate health staff.

Iraq relaxed its curfew measures in recent weeks after imposing a strict country-wide lockdown in late March.

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