Yesterday, Oil Minister Abdul Karim Luaybi complained that Iraqi Kurdistan is not playing by Baghdad’s rules when it comes to oil sales. The semi-autonomous region is not permitted, he says, to sign foreign contracts without the ministry’s involvement, but the Kurdish Regional Government has ignored such obligations. Now it is Basra’s turn to criticize the ministry for ignoring its own rules. Local politicians are suing the central government because they were not included in negotiations that lead to a deal between Baghdad and its new partners, Shell and Mitsubishi, in the southern oil fields. The Basrans have long felt neglected by the central government even though they contribute a significant amount of oil wealth to the national coffers. They would like the new contracts rescinded, so that they can renegotiate a deal that significantly benefits Basra. Basra has also been considering semi-autonomous region status, like Kurdistan’s, because of this perceived neglect.
At least 11 Iraqis were killed and 12 more were wounded in the latest round of attacks.
Gunmen killed a policeman and wounded three more during an attack in Abu Ghraib.
In Baghdad, gunmen killed a Sahwa member and wounded a policeman in Saidiya district.
A blast on a minibus killed two people.
A farmer was shot dead in Abu Karama.
Katyusha rockets intended for a U.S. base near Iskandariya wounded three Iraqis instead.
A sticky bomb attack in Jurf al-Sakhar left one Sahwa member wounded.
In Jalawla, a military officer spotted a sticky bomb place on his car.
In Dhuluiya, four water ministry employees were kidnapped.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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