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Top Baghdad Security Officials Dismissed After Attacks

At least 292 people were killed in the July 3 bombing.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has fired the three top security officials in Baghdad on July 8 following a series of deadly attacks.

He also accepted the resignation of his Interior Minister Mohammed al-Ghabban, which had been offered on July 5.

The dismissed security officials included the head of Baghdad's security command, the head of Interior Ministry intelligence for Baghdad, and the official responsible for Baghdad in the national security adviser's office.

Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric Ali al-Sistani earlier in the day had called for "substantial changes" in the top echelons of Iraq's security apparatus following two major bombings that killed hundreds of civilians in the past week.

"Being lax with the corrupt and failed [officials] at the expense of blood and lives of civilians has become unbearable," Sistani said in a sermon at a mosque in the holy city of Karbala. "There must be an end to it."

The firings came after suicide bombers and gunmen killed at least 37 people and wounded more than 62 others late on July 7 in an attack by the Islamic State (IS) extremist group at a Shi'ite shrine in the town of Balad, north of the capital.

Worshippers had gathered there to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which ends the fasting month of Ramadan.

On July 3, at least 292 people were killed in a suicide bombing claimed by IS in Baghdad’s mainly Shi’ite Karrada district -- the deadliest attack in the Iraqi capital since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, dpa, and the BBC
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