- Title: IRAQ/FILE: Funeral for assassinated Iraqi tribal leader who sided with Americans
- Date: 14th September 2007
- Summary: IRAQI FLAG AND PICTURE OF ABU RISHA ON FRONT OF VEHICLE CARRYING COFFIN AND IRAQI FLAG AND FLAG OF ANBAR SALVATION COUNCIL AND MOURNERS SHOUTING REVENGE ARMED MEN ATTENDING FUNERAL AND VEHICLE CARRYING COFFIN MOURNERS WALKING IN FUNERAL PROCESSION AND COFFINS ON VEHICLES
- Reuters ID: LVAF0U8W01G9917YCPRP1CK2RU4P
- Duration: 00:00:36
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement
- Story Text: The assassinated Sunni Arab tribal leader who helped U.S. forces drive al Qaeda out of Iraq's Anbar province is buried.
The funeral's taken place of Abu Risha, the tribal leader instrumental in driving al Qaeda militants out of Anbar province in Iraq. He was killed in a bomb attack near his home in Ramadi.
There was tight security on Friday (September 14) as Iraq's national security adviser Mowaffaq al-Rubaie, Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani, Defence Minister General Abdel Qader Jassim and Lieutenant-General Raymond Odierno, second in command of U.S. forces in Iraq, joined hundreds of mourners at the funeral.
Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, who met U.S. President George W. Bush less than two weeks ago, led the Anbar Salvation Council, an alliance of Sunni Arab tribes that worked with U.S. troops to push Sunni Islamist al Qaeda out of much of the vast desert area.
He was killed in a roadside bomb attack that also killed two bodyguards.
Abu Risha was buried in the same Ramadi cemetery as his father and brother, both of whom were shot dead in the past two years. Another two of his brothers were kidnapped in Ramadi in the past three years and their whereabouts remain unknown.
Rubaie told Reuters that by killing Abu Risha, al Qaeda was trying to 'shut down' the voice of Iraqi tribes. He said that the heads of the tribes would continue to fight al Qaeda and Iraqi forces would support them.
Al Qaeda once controlled large swathes of Anbar but it angered local tribal leaders with its indiscriminate killing of civilians and harsh interpretation of Islam.
Abu Risha was instrumental in persuading young men to start joining local police forces to secure their own neighbourhoods, a development that has sharply reduced levels of violence and forced many al Qaeda fighters to flee to other provinces.
Abu Risha's brother, Ahmed, has been named as Anbar Salvation Council's new head.
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