Iraqi Sunni lawmakers said on February 15 that they were boycotting parliament after the killing of a senior tribal leader blamed on Shi’ite militia.
Officials said Sheikh Qassem Sweidan Al-Janabi, his son, Muhammad, and six bodyguards were abducted and killed in south Baghdad late on February 13.
The slain tribal leader was a key player in efforts to combat sectarianism.
The “open-ended boycott” by Sunni lawmakers — who hold 73 mandates in the 328-seat parliament — was announced in a statement posted on the official Facebook page of Sunni parliament speaker Salim Al-Juburi.
The statement said Sunni lawmakers discussed the killings in an “extraordinary meeting” and will submit “to the government a draft resolution to ban militias and criminalize sectarianism.”
Three Sunni clerics were killed by suspected Shi’ite gunmen in Basra, a majority Shi’ite southern province, last month — an event that triggered outrage in a country mired in sectarian violence.