Two killed, six injured in violent tribal conflict in Iraq

Two killed, six injured in violent tribal conflict in Iraq
2 min read
30 September, 2023
Police officials in the province said clashes that began on Wednesday evening between the Arab clans Al Omar and Al-Rumayd had left two people dead and six more wounded.
The tribal fighting has impacted the town of Al-Islah in Dhi Qar province in southern Iraq [Manuel Augusto Moreno/Getty-file photo]

At least two people were killed in Iraq as a result of a tribal conflict that saw guns and explosives used, police said on Friday.

The dispute occurred in the town of Al-Islah in Dhi Qar province in the country's south.

Police in the province said that the clashes between the Arab clans of Al Omar and Al-Rumayd, ongoing since Wednesday, also left six people injured.

A former provincial council member said the conflict relates to previous disputes.

"The new conflict is old and has not ended," said Hussein Al-Asadi.

"The role of [the mayor], local elections, and some local positions have inflamed the situation in light of a weak judiciary and the uncontrollable presence of weapons that facilitates this."

Several provinces in southern and central Iraq have for some time been suffering from tribal conflicts between different clans, mostly related to revenge, disputes over water and land, and various social problems.

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In many disputes, the army has been forced to step in.

A police officer said a high-ranking security delegation travelled from Baghdad to Dhi Qar's capital city Nasiriyah to intervene and stop the clashes in nearby Al-Islah.

There are currently tight security measures in Al-Islah amid the expansion of the bloody tribal conflict, another security official told media, saying one of the clans set up a checkpoint and killed a policeman belonging to the other.

Iraqi media reported a letter from the leader of the Al Omar to Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani and Interior Minister Abdul Amir Al-Shammari, accusing factions in the state-backed Popular Mobilisation Forces militia umbrella of intervening and siding with the other clan.

The clan leader, Jamil Yousef Al Omar, called in his letter on the government in Baghdad and the interior ministry to step in and restore law in Dhi Qar.