Grand Ayatollah Wants Sunnis Armed; 143 Killed in Iraq

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the highest-ranking Shi’ite cleric in Iraq, called on the government to provide weapons and supplies to Sunnis in Anbar province. During his Friday sermon, he said that the Sunnis in Anbar have shown a patriotic attitude against the militants, but the shortages they are suffering could encourage them to change their sides. He also warned militiamen not to seek revenge on civilians.

Iraqi forces are entering Dour, a town on the outskirts of Tikrit. Militia commander Hadi al-Amiri claimed the town was completely liberated, and troops would advance on al-Alam on Saturday. However, some say there has only been a partial success. Many militants were killed or wounded.

At least 143 were killed and 47 were wounded.

Coalition airstrikes left 16 civilians dead, including children, in Bartilla.

Five security personnel were killed and 11 were wounded during clashes in Kasarat.

A tanker bomb targeting security in Samarra killed four and wounded 28 more.

In Baghdad, a Katyusha rocket attack on Shula left one dead and six wounded. A sticky bomb killed a driver. A dumped body was found.

Three policemen were gunned down in al-Sokhor.

In Mosul, militants blew up a beloved, 19th century mosque. A judge was executed. An army officer was also executed.

A police colonel succumbed to wounds he received in January in Kirkuk.

A body was found in Basra.

A civilian was killed in Tarmiya.

In Ishaqi, two tribal leaders were wounded.

Militants killed a number of security personnel in Garma. In retaliation, strikes were launched that caused civilians to flee for their lives.

The U.S. military confirmed that militants were chased out of al-Baghdadi.

In al-Zalaya, 75 militants were killed.

Fourteen militants killed each other in Qayara, over the division of spoils.

In Baiji, 12 militants were killed.

At least six militant leaders were killed in Taza and Tuz Khormato.

Several militants were killed when Iraqi forces reclaimed Maamil.

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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.