A female Iraqi member of parliament was shot and killed at her home in eastern Baghdad today by armed gunmen in an attempt to destabilize the reconstruction process. According to BBC News, Lamia Abed Khadouri al-Sagri, a member of Iraq’s National Assembly, did not have permanent security detail. Instead, she had to rely on her own sons for protection. Khadouri is the first member of the 275- seat National Assembly to have been killed since the January elections, reports Reuters.
Over the past year, threats against Iraqi women leaders and women working for the United States have been escalating in Iraq. Earlier this year, women running for political office had to run in secret because they were targets of religious fundamentalists. One female candidate was killed near her home last December and another survived an assassination attempt while her son was killed. In addition, Newsweek recently reported that 20 Iraqi women’s rights activists were killed in Mosul alone and a dozen more were killed in Baghdad. Last year, one of only three women on Iraq’s Interim Governing Council was assassinated. Activist Fern Holland, who worked tirelessly in Iraq to help Iraqi women achieve their rights, became one of the first American civilian employees of the Coalition Provisional Authority to be killed in Iraq.
General Myers recently warned that Iraqi militants remain just as strong as they were a year ago, reports BBC News. Militants are carrying out between 50 and 60 attacks each day in Iraq.