Shocking mass murder in Basra weeks after family massacre

Amr Al Housni

Jun. 20, 2024 • 3 min read
Image of Shocking mass murder in Basra weeks after family massacre

Basra police arrest an Egyptian national suspected of a heinous crime against four fellow Egyptians.

Iraqi police in Basra arrested an Egyptian national on Monday suspected of murdering and dismembering four fellow Egyptians, authorities say.

The Basra Police Department, with support from intelligence units, launched an investigation after discovering body parts in garbage dumps in the Tuwaisa and al-Neft Districts. The police found blood-stained clothing, a hammer, a knife, and hair remnants at the scene.

From their investigation, authorities have learned from the Egyptian consulate in Basra that four Egyptian nationals working at a construction site had been reported missing.

Police officers launched an inquiry, gathering information and surveillance footage, which led them to suspect another Egyptian national, identified as Mamdoh al-Masri.
Al-Masri was apprehended in Baghdad after fleeing Basra. He confessed to the murders, admitting that he dismembered the bodies and scattered the remains in various locations across Basra.

Police Chief Lt. Gen. Latif Abdul-Ridha al-Saad announced the arrest, stating, "We have captured a dangerous criminal who committed a horrific crime against four Egyptian workers." The authorities have documented his confession and secured evidence related to the crime.

Mamdoh al-Masri, responsible for the murder and dismemberment of four fellow Egyptians in Basra. (Photo by Iraqi Interior Ministry)

“The accused worked as a butcher in Egypt and used a hatchet and a knife to carry out the crime,” a police source told The New Region. 

“Intelligence suggests he used a saw for the dismemberment. Their families contacted the Egyptian consulate after losing contact with them for over a week. The consulate then informed Basra police of the situation."

The methodical manner in which the bodies were distributed across different neighborhoods, including al-Tuwaisa and al-Neft, is particularly alarming. "It was a professional way of distributing the bodies,” the source added. “Some parts of the bodies are still missing."

The motive for the killings appears to be financial. “The suspect was owed money by the victims,” another source revealed. Despite being from outside the country, the suspect managed to move and distribute the bodies in a city known for its security.

This is the second crime to shake Basra and Iraq in the span of 2 months. In May a father killed 12 members of his family and then took his own life in the al-Muwazafin neighborhood of Shatt al-Arab district, Basra province. 

The father, burdened by financial debts exceeding one billion Iraqi dinars (US$760,000), is thought to have broken under the pressure. Initial rumors suggested an armed group was responsible, but Basra police concluded the father was responsible.

The incident highlights the broader issue of gun control in Iraq. In 2023, the Iraqi government initiated a program to centralize weapons in state hands, aiming to regulate gun ownership and address the widespread arms trade. 

The Ministry of Interior, led by Abdul Amir al-Shammari, established 697 centers across Iraq's provinces to purchase weapons from citizens, allocating significant funds to each province to support the initiative.

Iraq has seen a rise in murders in 2024, with January and February recording at least 46 and 44 cases, respectively. This increase is notable compared to the lower numbers in late 2023. The government's attempts to regulate firearms is part of a broader four-year program to combat crime and enhance societal welfare.

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Author Amr Al Housni

Amr Al Housni is a Syrian news reporter based in Erbil, specializing in coverage of local and international events.


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