Iraq has been accused of sending a 'killer squad' to Beirut to assassinate a prominent Iraqi journalist and deputy editor of the PLO newspaper Falastin Al-Thawra.
Iraq has been accused of sending a 'killer squad' to Beirut to assassinate a prominent Iraqi journalist and deputy editor of the PLO newspaper Falastin Al-Thawra. Adel Wasfi was a veteran member of Yasser Arafat's Fatah organisation and had often been critical of the Iraqi leadership. Iraq has denied the accusation, by the General Union of Palestinian Students.
SYNOPSIS: Adel Wasfi's funeral on Thursday (21 June) was attended by thousands. The thirty-four-year-old editor was gunned down on Wednesday (20 June) as he left his home in West Beirut. Mr. Wasfi was better known under his code name of Khaled Al Iraqi.
Jeeps manned by commandos with anti-aircraft guns and recoilless cannons provided security at the funeral near the Arab University in Beirut. The PLO's Voice of Palestine radio reported that Fatah held an emergency meeting after Mr. Wasfi's death to discuss what it described as the 'assassination crime'. A broadcast statement by Fatah blamed 'fascist murders, enemies of democracy and life' for the killing.
The General Union of Palestinian Students was more specific in branding the Iraq government responsible for Mr. Wasfi's murder.
The Iraqi news agency (INA) quoted an official source as saying Iraq had nothing to do with the assassination. The news agency expressed 'deep regret and surprise at the hastiness of certain Palestinian quarters to discredit Iraq'.