The National is reporting that since June, 630 Iraqis have been killed by so-called “hit-men.” This is a recent phenomenon that has taken root in Iraq and which continues to intensify. The tactic involves utilizing silencers on pistols and rifles to enable an attacker to silently kill their victim and then flee without being noticed.
The L.A. times has also reported on this development, noting that those who are being targeted are high profile individuals such as government officials, those in the security forces, and journalists.
Some in Iraq are even suggesting that these killings are being carried out covertly by foreign governments. An Iraqi interior ministry spokesmen said that :
“The assassins are carrying out their plans very well and they almost always kill their target. They don’t make mistakes. That makes us believe that foreign intelligence services control them and move them according to their agenda”
Weapons such as the ones being used are easily smuggled through checkpoints, where much of the equipment used to search vehicles is inadequate or has never worked at all.
The inability of Iraqi political blocs to form a government is no doubt contributing to the surge in recent violence, as it gives more and more time for insurgent groups to find and exploit gaps in Iraq’s largely unproven security forces.