Updated at 10:12 p.m. EST, Nov. 30, 2010
Even though U.S. troops are set to leave Iraq next year, the U.S. State Department and Pentagon believe it will stay expensive to keep remaining Americans safe in the country. Iraqi civilians also must worry about such attacks and other hardships they continue to suffer now. At least seven Iraqis were killed and 12 more were wounded in today’s light attacks.
A popular television show, "Patron of the Oppressed," attempts to reunite missing persons with their families, but its tragic lack of success underscores two of Iraq’s most significant issues: the people who were killed and dumped in unmarked graves and those who remain in secret prisons. About 15,000 Iraqis were reported missing in 2005 and 2006 alone and are thought to have been killed as part of sectarian violence. Separately, Amnesty International has warned that Iraqi authorities "systematically violate detainees’ rights" and estimates that about 30,000 prisoners are currently being held without trial. Certainly, there is evidence that supports the abuse of civilians in secret prisons.
While the Iraqi government continues to insist that WikiLeaks documents pertaining to Iraq were fabricated to create problems for the country’s leaders, the most recent release of diplomatic cables has revealed general dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki throughout the Arab region. In particular, the prediction that a Shi’ite coalition backed by the Kurds could be further dominated by Iran was and is a major concern. Interestingly, while he does accuse Iran of interference, Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi claims that some information in the cables is wrong and also laments their release at this time.
The Kurds may have supported Maliki’s bid to remain prime minister despite his party not winning the most seats in the current parliament, but they continue to mistrust the central government when it comes to the national census. The census has been postponed indefinitely once again, this time over which government should carry out the census in Kurdish areas of northern Iraq. While there is a Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq, it does not encompass all regions heavily populated by the Kurds. The central government clearly would like to retain complete control of some of these oil-rich areas.
Police discovered the bodies of a man and a woman who had been blindfolded and shot near Samarra in Albu Solidy.
An explosion in Albu Rindis, near Balad, killed a peasant and wounded two others.In Mosul, gunmen killed one soldier and wounded a second during an attack. A bomb blasted the vehicle carrying the wounded soldier and injured a policeman traveling with him. Soldiers wounded a man and seized a booby-trapped car he was driving; however, the car exploded wounding three soldiers. Gunmen killed a Christian and wounded his brother during an attack on their shop. Another Christian was killed in a shooting. Civilians helped soldiers stop an attack on a different Christian family; this is the second reported instance of Iraqis helping to protect their Christian neighbors in the last two weeks. Also, 10 suspects were detained and a bomb factory was discovered.
A U.S. vehicle traveling near Karbala was damaged in a blast.
A merchant carrying a large sum of money has disappeared between Suwayra and Salman Pak and may have been kidnapped.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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