At least three Iraqis were killed and four more were wounded in light violence. The day was also marked by light protests, and some demonstrators may have suffered from beatings.
Some demonstrators took the opportunity to stage "Day of Regret" protests to mark the one-year anniversary of national elections. Many went as far as to dye their fingers red, signaling their regret in taking part those elections and chanted slogans such as "we will not vote again." Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki himself drew the ire of many demonstrators, about 500 of which gathered in Baghdad alone.
Last March 7, Iraqis confronted great danger to reach the polls. That election ended in a near stalemate with the Iraqiya party eking out a small win over Maliki’s Dawa party; however, because no clear winner was selected, nine months of dealmaking followed, with Maliki managing to pull out a second term. Making matters worse, lawmakers were being paid for taking what essentially became a long vacation, only to allow Maliki to consolidate his power. Last week, the new government showed some signs of fraying as Maliki’s main political rivals, Ayad Allawi and Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, appeared together.
Maliki has also been accused of ordering the closures of two opposition party offices under the guise of Defense Ministry needs. Representatives from the Iraqi Nation Party and the Iraqi Communist Party said security personnel swarmed both their offices and ordered them to vacate. In one case, members of the Nation Party also said they were invited to align with Maliki’s Dawa party only five days ago. They rejected the offer and presume that triggered the closure.
Demonstrators in Suleimaniya reported that black-clad soldiers beat them at Saray Gate and arrested several of them. It is unclear whether this is the same group of men who set fire to the camps yesterday.
Residents of Sadr City enjoyed a little good news as blast walls there were dismantled.
Two were killed in post-raid clash in Hawija. One was a gunman, but the other was a policeman.
In Mosul, gunmen killed a civilian.
U.S. forces arrested two policemen in al-Saray, but the chairman of Missan‘s council said the arrests may have been in violation of a U.S.-Iraqi SOFA agreement..
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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