Officials: Truck bomb mastermind killed in Iraq
A man killed recently in an operation by coalition forces was responsible for ordering truck bombings that targeted the Yazidi population on Aug. 14, killing about 250 people, military officials said Sunday.
The bombings, in Ninawa province in northwestern Iraq, was one of the deadliest attacks on an area since the war began. Hundreds were injured in the blasts.
The suspect, Abu Muhammad al-Afri — also known as Abu Jasim, Arkan Hassan Ali, Nuraddin, Hajar and Abu Ahmad al-Afri — was the al-Qaida in Iraq emir of Sinjar, officials said in a press release. The release was issued by Multi-National Force-Iraq.
Close associates and detainees confirmed that al-Afri was killed in an airstrike, in a remote area 70 miles southwest of Mosul, officials said. His driver was also killed.
When coalition forces arrived to assess the site of strike, they found two armed men attempting to sanitize the scene, officials said.
Ground forces also found several files, a machine gun, military-style assault vests and bomb-making materials. Both men were detained.
The Yazidis are members of an ancient, primarily Kurdish religious sect that workshops an angel figure that some Christians and Muslims believe to be the devil.