The top United Nations official in Iraq today condemned “in the strongest terms” the killing of at least 14 border guards and civilians in a “heinous, cold-blooded murder” on a main highway connecting the central cities of Ramadi and Kerbala.
“I urge the security authorities to take swift and decisive action to arrest the perpetrators of this abominable crime and bring them to justice,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Martin Kobler, said in a news release from the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) which he heads.
The gunmen had set up a fake checkpoint in the town of Al-Nukhaib, some 300 km southwest of Ramadi, and apparently opened fire on the policemen when they stopped.
The UN envoy extended his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims as well as to the Iraqi Police.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attack.
The attack comes as UNAMI announced that a total of 1,045 Iraqis were killed and another 2,397 wounded in acts of terrorism and acts of violence in May, making it one of the deadliest months on record.
“That is a sad record,” Mr. Kobler had said. “Iraqi political leaders must act immediately to stop this intolerable bloodshed.”
The figures include 963 civilians and 181 civilian police killed, while 2,191 civilians and 359 civilian police were wounded. An additional 82 members of the Iraqi Security Forces were killed and 206 were injured.