Sunni Parliament Speaker Criticizes Maliki Admin. Over Abuses; 4 Killed in Iraq Attacks

At the risk of antagonizing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Sunni Parliamentary Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi came out against some of the excesses of the current administration. Meanwhile, at least four Iraqis were killed and 14 more were wounded in the latest violence.

Maliki Political Target Survives Roadside Bombing

Iraq’s finance minister survived a roadside bombing that wounded two guards instead. At least four Iraqis were killed and 12 Iraqis were wounded across the country, as the prime minister called for more unity despite his actions to the contrary. A late-day bombing in Ishaqi targeted a motorcade carrying Finance Minister Rafe al-Essawi. The bomb wounded two guards working for the minister. Although the moderate politician has worked to build bridges among Iraq’s ethnic and political groups, Essawi is among the top Sunni politicians targeted by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for elimination from office. Maliki, meanwhile, called for more unity and stability despite having triggered the 2011’s greatest political crisis. His administration set off the political instability by issuing an arrest warrant against Vice President Tareq al-Hashimi and asking for the firing of Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq. Later, he threatened Essawi. All three men are not only are Maliki’s political rivals, they are also Sunnis. Maliki is Shi’ite. Because of that and the arrest of hundreds of Sunnis in an earlier Maliki-sanctioned operation, many Sunnis believe that Maliki has begun a new sectarian campaign against them. But, that campaign is not limited to government officials. Fearing a new sectarian war, Sunnis have increasingly been relocating from Shi’ite neighborhoods into those where they feel safer. The Iraqiya party, which is Sunni supported, refused to back down from its boycott of parliament until the government meets certain conditions. In particular, they feel that the unity government lacks a real partnership. President Jalal Talabani, who is a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, called for a national conference between all parties in order to solve the crisis. The question of Hashemi’s arrest warrant will not be discussed and be left to the courts entirely. Anbar’s provincial council warned Baghdad that the deadline to address their concerns is rapidly approaching. Although Maliki recently admitted that Anbar’s demands are legitimate and he would honor them, the council says they have seen no effort by the government to address any of them. Two civilians were killed and one more was wounded during crossfire between police and gunmen in Hammam Alil. In Baghdad, three civilians were wounded during a blast in the Abu Dsheer neighborhood. A blast in Jisr Diyala wounded five people, including two policemen who were targeted. A blast at a restaurant in Baquba left one person dead and another wounded. A Falluja lawyer was stabbed to death at home.

Interior Ministry Bombing Message to Maliki; 14 Killed Across Iraq

In what may be too obvious a message against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a suicide bomber attacked the Interior Ministry, leaving dozens of victims. Overall, at least 14 Iraqis were killed and 41 more were wounded in that and other assaults across the country. Three Iranian pilgrims were also wounded in an attack in Dujail. Meanwhile, the political upheaval Maliki launched continues to threaten the coalition government.

11 Iraqis Killed As Maliki Promises To Stop Autonomy Bids

At least 11 Iraqis were killed and 17 more were wounded as Iraqis seek reconciliation in the face of a growing threat of sectarianism. The latest blow to harmony between Iraqi’s ethnic, religious and political groups came from the prime minister who threatened to quash any attempts at increasing regional autonomy; however former rival and recent ally Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr moved forward with a Code of Honor that may tone down recent volatility.

Iraq’s Border Woes Continue As Iran Resumes Shelling And Kuwait Detains Fishermen

Although violence was fairly light today, an escalating border situation involving Iran and Kuwait could spell increasing woes for Iraq. Frustrated Iranian forces resumed cross-border shelling of Iraqi Kurdistan, resulting in the death of one civilian. And, Kuwait detained 11 fisherman who may have strayed into Kuwaiti waters. Overall, eight Iraqis were killed in new violence. Another 20 were injured in what may have been chlorine gas attack.

Light Violence Leaves Five Iraqis Wounded, While Maliki Lends His Support To Syrian Gov’t

In Mosul, police shot and wounded two men who were tossing grenades at them. The provincial governor’s cousin was kidnapped.

Police in Hilla liberated a female kidnap victim.

The Iraqi Army has surrounded a police directorate in Amara following the possibly illegal sacking of the director-general. Last night, dozens protested in support of Major General Ismail Arrar.>

Three rockets targeting a U.S. target near Muqdadiya were found and dismantled.

Seven suspects were arrested in Diyala province.