BAGHDAD, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Unknown gunmen assassinated a campaign manager for a candidate for the upcoming elections and his brother on Tuesday in the eastern province of Diyala, a provincial police source said.
The two were shot dead by gunmen who opened fire from their car in the al-Muradia area near the provincial capital Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, Major Alaa al-Saadi told Xinhua.
Iraqi security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search campaign looking for the attackers, al-Saadi said.
Observers believe that the recent increase of violence in the country, including Thursday's twin suicide bombings that killed 32 people and wounded more than 100 others, could be the start of a new wave of violence ahead of the country's parliamentary elections slated for Oct. 10, 2021.
On Jan. 19, the Iraqi government approved Oct. 10, 2021, as the new date for the country's early elections to give more time for the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) to complete preparations.
Last July, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi set June 6, 2021, as the date for the early elections, which came in response to the anti-government protests.
The previous parliamentary elections in Iraq were held on May 12, 2018, and the next elections were originally scheduled to take place in 2022. Enditem