Updated at 8:023 p.m. EST, Feb. 4, 2010
At least six Iraqis were killed and one more was wounded even as Shi’ite pilgrims continue to arrive in Karbala. Meanwhile an election blacklist thought struck down only a day ago could still be implemented, and Iraq wants to strengthen rules on media outlets. Also, lawyers for 66 Iraqis are seeking in inquiry into claims British troops abused them.
A day after an Iraqi appeals court struck down a controversial ban preventing hundreds of candidates running in March elections, election officials have asked the Supreme Judicial Court for a ruling on the appeals court decision. Should the court rule against appeals court decision, it could harm the election and reconciliation efforts. The campaign season was pushed back to Feb. 12 in the wake of today’s turnaround.
The list, which is thought to target Sunnis, has been kept secret. Even if the blacklisted candidates are allowed to run, they could face post-election investigations that may negate any wins. Saleh al-Mutlaq, who has become the "poster boy" of the controversy, is on the blacklist even though he left the Ba’ath Party in protest in 1977. He has long been highly critical of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government and is voicing concerns on the political aspects of the blacklist. Maliki, who stands to gain from the blacklisting, has called on parliament for a special debate on the "illegal" decision this Sunday. The U.S. supports reinstating the candidates.
Iraqi officials want to curb broadcasts they say incite sectarian violence by requiring journalists to obtain permission from the Communications and Media Commission before operating with the country. The Baghdad Operations Command tossed out a similar licensing scheme late last year that had come under criticism last year.
The first of 25 bomb-sniffing dogs will arrive Friday in Iraq. Although the Iraqis have a taboo against dogs, they have become desperate enough to ask the U.S. military for the canines. The Iraqis had been relying on a controversial device that bomb-experts say is useless.
In Baghdad, gunmen killed a man leaving an Amil mosque. A gunman was arrested trying to climb a church’s fence. An Iraqi lawmaker has asked for the release of five women who were arrested following a massive bombing in Baghdad. One of the detainees is 70-years-old.
The body of a teacher, who was kidnapped yesterday from Touz Khormato, was discovered.
In Mosul, no casualties were reported after army troops fired upon and cursed at a television crew.
Officials in Karbala said that 21 medics were among the casualties of yesterday’s massive bombing. Four people died overnight from injuries sustained in the lesser of yesterday’s two bombings in Karbala.
Twenty-two suspects were detained in Sherwin.
A policeman was arrested in Rabeaa and confessed to trafficking arms across the nearby Syrian border.
Fourteen suspects were arrested in Basra.
Tal Afar has implemented a security plan to protect worshippers during Arbaeen rituals tomorrow.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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