Fourteen Iraqis were killed as attempts to hold a political reconciliation conference in Baghdad failed. Another 33 people were wounded.
Tomorrow’s much-anticipated reconciliation conference has been canceled due to increasing sectarian tensions. Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi said the National Conference, which was organized to reduce political tensions, would have to be postponed until all parties are willing to meet previous agreements for the meeting.
Meanwhile, fugitive Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi has left Qatar for Saudi Arabia. Although Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his political bloc wanted no mention of Hashemi at the reconciliation conference, his political opponents in the Sunni and Kurdish blocs wanted to discuss the matter of his arrest warrant.
In December, Maliki accused Hashemi of ties to terrorism, which Hashemi called a political move. An arrest warrant was issued but only after Hashemi found refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan. That warrant, the arrest of numerous Hashemi staffers, and the targeting of other Sunni politicians ignited the current tensions that lead to calls for a reconciliation conference. Since then, relations between the federal government and that of Iraqi Kurdistan have similarly deteriorated, partly over the Hashemi issue and partly over oil concerns.
At least 14 Iraqis were killed and 33 more were wounded in a string of attacks.
Four people were killed and three more were wounded during a blast in Hamdaniya.
A bomb killed one person and wounded another in Shurta.
Gunmen in Khalis killed a civilian.
In Kirkuk, teenager’s beaten and strangled body was found.
A sticky bomb killed a police office in Tikrit.
Three females were wounded during a blast in Buhriz.
In Baquba, a sticky bomb planted on a Sahwa member’s car wounded three people.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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