Sunnis Stage Anti-Maliki Demonstrations Across Iraq

Demonstrations took place as Iraqi officials blamed each other for yesterday’s slaughter in Baghdad. Today was more peaceful, but at least six Iraqis were killed and 10 more were wounded.

Demonstrations against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s harassment of Sunni politicians took place in various Sunni strongholds across the country, mostly notably in Samarra, where 2000 protestors took to the streets. Ramadi, Baiji and Qaim also saw protests. In Baghdad, meanwhile, crisis talks were canceled.

There was no end to the blame game. A spokesman for Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who is the top Shi’ite cleric in Iraq, said the Ayatollah held politicians responsible for yesterday’s bombings in the capital. Although he did not call out Maliki specifically, it was the premier’s harassment of Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi that began the latest political conflict. Hashemi himself today blamed Maliki directly for the bombings and called on the premier to stop chasing "patriotic politicians." Maliki himself tried to blame the bombings on his foes, but the Security and Defense Committee pointed to al-Qaeda.

In Baghdad, travel through the city was curtailed, not only by security forces but also from simple fear just a day after bombings killed dozens.

In Mosul, three civilians were killed and five more were wounded in a blast near a cultural center. A sticky bomb wounded a policeman. Police killed an al-Qaeda leader.

In Kirkuk, a sticky bomb killed a neighborhood leader. Police discovered the body of man who had been beheaded. Rockets struck a military base.

Gunmen killed a security guard in Gatoun.

A man was killed when the bomb he was planting in Muqdadiya exploded suddenly.

In Jalawla, a soldier died in a sticky bomb blast.

Four civilians were wounded in a blast in Dujail.

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Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has
been covering Iraqi casualties for Antiwar.com since 2006.