Qais al-Mamouri, a major US ally respected for his non-sectarian work as police chief in violent Babil province, was killed today by a roadside bomb, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Five successive explosions ripped through al-Mamouri’s US-issued SUV, killing him and two others. Less than an hour earlier a US general had held a press conference to sing al-Mamouri’s praises.
Al-Mamouri, a Shiite, headed operations against both Shiite and Sunni radicals in Babil, making friends with Americans, and enemies in local government. One major Shiite party member told the Monitor he suspected al-Mamouri was killed over those disputes. “He often clashed with the governor,” he said. “They hated each other.” A Babil council member said both al-Qaeda and Shiite militias were suspected.