Sunni Baghdad Leader Arrested on Terrorism Charges; 11 Iraqis Killed

Wednesday: 11 Iraqis Killed, 16 Wounded

by , January 18, 2012

A prominent Sunni politician was arrested today on terrorism charges, as a surge in violence continues thanks to sectarian political tensions. At least 11 Iraqis were killed and 16 more were wounded.

Baghdad Provincial Council Vice President Riyadh al-Adhadh was arrested on terrorism charges and stands accused of financing a terrorist group in Abu Ghraib. Adhadh is a Sunni doctor who founded a free clinic in Adhamiya and is the focus of an English-language documentary on Iraq. The Iraqi Islamic Party condemned the action and called it an "unprecedented escalation" in the political arena.

While it is difficult to tell if the arrest is merely part of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s vendetta against prominent Sunni politicians, Adhadh would be the first one to actually come under arrest. Separately, Iraqiya party leader Ayad Allawi said Iraq must either hold new elections or select another prime minister should the premier remain opposed to participating in power sharing. The surge in recent violence is blamed on these political tensions.

Gunmen attacked the home of a village elder in Latifiya, killing four people and wounding two more. The homeowner, who was also an Awakening Council (Sahwa) member, and three sons were killed. A fourth son and the man’s wife were wounded.

In Baghdad, gunmen assassinated a councilman in Hay al-Adil and wounded his daughter and granddaughter. Three people were wounded in a blast in Jihad. At least two rockets were fired at the Green Zone; one struck the Turkish embassy but left no casualties.

Two policemen were killed and a third was wounded in Mosul.

Gunmen killed two people during a drive-by in Mandali.

Six rockets struck Kirkuk, but no casualties were reported. An unidentified body was found.

Gunmen killed a money exchanger in Tuz Khormato.

Seven people were wounded in Iskandariya when a pair of bombs exploded.

A Sahwa member was seriously wounded in an attack on a Taza checkpoint.

In Samarra, a Sahwa member was arrested for verbally assaulting the police chief.

Read more by Margaret Griffis