(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
BAGHDAD - An Iraqi parliamentary candidate was shot dead late on Sunday in his home near the city of Mosul, a family member and a security official said, less than a week before elections.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the shooting of Farouk Zarzour in the village of al-Lazaka, but security officials disputed that claim and said they were treating it as a political killing.Zarzour's brother and eight others have been arrested as suspects, they said.
Zarzour had been an adviser to parliamentary speaker Salim al-Jabouri.
The Islamic State militants have threatened to carry out attacks ahead of the elections and have warned Sunni Arabs not to participate. However, the hard-line militants have also claimed responsibility for several attacks that never happened.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared nationwide victory over the Islamic State in December, five months after his forces recaptured Iraq's second city Mosul in a protracted battle with the jihadist militants.
Islamic State, however, continues to carry out bombings, assassinations and ambushes in different areas of Iraq, and remains active in neighboring Syria.
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