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Iraq faction hangs Trump effigies before memorial to slain commander

AFP  |  Baghdad 

A hardline Iraqi faction hanged effigies of US President Donald Trump in Baghdad Monday, ahead of a memorial for their commander killed in a US strike.

On Tuesday, the Iraqi capital will commemorate 40 days since Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of Iraq's powerful Hashed al-Shaabi military network, was killed alongside top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike in Baghdad.

An official memorial service will be held in the morning in Baghdad's high-security Green Zone, followed by a public commemoration.

In preparation, Kataeb Hezbollah -- a hardline Hashed faction that Muhandis founded -- erected mock gallows at the entrances to the massive eastern district of Sadr City.

Hanged in nooses were cut-outs of Trump with his tongue protruding and soldiers in US uniforms.

Enormous portraits of Muhandis and Soleimani were also erected elsewhere in the city.

"Our people hung the gallows in preparation for the 40-day memorial service," said an official from Kataeb Hezbollah, who declined to give his name.

Washington carried out a drone strike outside Baghdad International Airport in the early hours of January 3, hitting the two-car convoy in which Soleimani and Muhandis were travelling.

Trump authorised the strike against Soleimani but had not specifically targeted Muhandis, US officials said.

The Iraqi commander was picking up his longtime friend and mentor Soleimani, Iran's pointman on Iraqi affairs, who had just landed.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 11 2020. 00:42 IST
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