Saturday: 6 Iraqis Killed, 2 Wounded

by , February 20, 2010

Only six Iraqis were killed and two more were wounded on a very quiet day of attacks. Iraqis are still concerned over the fallout of a candidate blacklist that could nullify the legitimacy of the elections. Some Iraqis face a long jail term if they choose to criticize the elections through vandalism.

A day after the National Dialogue Front unsurprisingly pulled out of elections, the National Council for Tribes of Iraq has withdrawn as well. Although there has been no call for a general boycott by Sunni voters, the development could call the legitimacy of the election into question. At issue is a blacklist said to target Sunni and secular candidates. The Iraqiya list, however, resumed campaigning after a weeklong suspension, stressing that participation is the best response,

Another chilling aspect of the election is the exaggerated punishment the Iraqi government promises to dole out to vandals who deface election campaigns. Those caught face up to a year in prison. Some see this as more strong-arm tactics by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his allies. In some areas, the vandalism appears to express Sunni anger while in others it seems to mark inter-Shi’ite rivalry.

In Suleimaniyah, a curfew was imposed on campaigning after it turned violent earlier this week. The province belongs to Iraqi Kurdistan, which has its own particular issues.

Iranian troops may have crossed into Diyala province; however, a security official at Diyala Operations Command denied the assistant governor’s report.

In Mosul, a blast killed three policemen and wounded two others. The body of a Christian man was found a week after he was kidnapped. No casualties were reported after a hand grenade at a police station in Hadbaa. Three suspects were detained, and an I.E.D. was defused. Storekeepers held demonstrations against transgressions made by Iraqi army personnel.

Two men were killed as they were planting a bomb in Tikrit.

In Baghdad, security forces arrested a suspected al-Qaeda member accused of recruiting female suicide bombers.

Three suspects believed to have taken part in Thursday’s deadly blast in Ramadi were captured.

An arms cache was found in Bani Saad.

A missile was found in Numaniya.

Rockets and launching pads were found north of Diwaniya.

Read more by Margaret Griffis