Baaqubah district administration, Diyala province, announced on Wednesday, July 31st that all the public coffee shops in the city will be temporarily closed down in the city and its suburbs, revealing that this is a preemptive procedure until a security measure can be taken to protect these facilities.
An intelligence source confirmed that “Katibat Tatbiq Al Shariaa” ie Sharia Implementation Phalange affiliated with Al Qaeda stands behind the constant targeting of these cafes in an attempt to fight “devilish vices”.
“The districts administration officially decided to temporarily close down all the popular coffee shops in the city of Baaqubah and its suburbs”, said the district’s administrative chief Abdullah Al Hiyali in a statement to Alsumaria.
He highlighted that this was a preemptive measure that would spare the lives of innocent people especially that such cafes are constantly being targeted. “This decision will be abolished as soon as we find a protective measure which would reassure the governmental authorities that targeting operations will not occur again”, added Al Hiyali.
He called upon security entities to “form an investigation commission as soon as possible to look into the bombing of Al Muaalimin street coffee shops (located at 6 km west of Baaqubah) the previous night; tolling 8 dead and 20 injured including children”.
“Available security information about operations against popular cafes in the past couple of month proves that an armed phalange affiliated with Al Qaeda is implicated. This group is called “Katibat Tatbiq Al Shariaa” ie Sharia Implementation Phalange and it mainly targets cafes and sports stadium in different regions in Diyala”.
“This phalange considers that cafes and sports stadiums are devilish vices and bombs these facilities without paying mind to the human losses it entails”, added the source who wished to remain anonymous. He pointed out that
“Al Qaeda had been issuing Fatwas in previous weeks inciting on the destruction of coffee shops and sports courts that turn people away from religion and Jihad in the name of Allah. This led to an escalation in violence”.
by Ammar Al Ani and Moayad Al Tayeb