Iraqi police chief sacked over deadly anti-terror operation
Iraq's interior minister has dismissed a provincial police chief after an operation that reportedly led to the deaths of 20 members of the same family.

The operation, details of which remain unclear, took place on Thursday. The security forces sought to storm a house in the village of Al Rashayed in Babylon, a central province.

The official Iraqi News Agency gave a death toll of 20 civilians from the same family, and said that the owner of the property had opened fire and "refused to surrender".

Interior Ministry official Saad Maan posted a video of the premises on Twitter, showing a damaged house with gutted doors and windows.

He denounced a "crime on all levels", without identifying those to blame, and said the investigation would "understand all the circumstances of the incident".

During a visit to Al Rashayed on Friday, Interior Minister Othman Al Ghanimi sacked the Babylon police chief and said a commission would investigate the unit that carried out the operation.

In a brief initial statement, the security forces said they had "pursued two individuals accused of terrorism" who "opened fire indiscriminately" once surrounded.

An investigation was opened "after the discovery of a number of dead bodies of citizens in a house", the statement added.

Security sources and media outlets suggested that a suspect linked with ISIS or drug trafficking rings had been involved.

The Iraqi-Kurdish news agency Rudaw identified the suspect as Rahim Kazem Al Ghurairi and quoted his sister as saying that the security forces were responsible for the deaths.

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