Sunni Parliament Boycott over Sectarian Violence; 129 Killed in Iraq

by , January 18, 2016

New but unconfirmed details are arising out of the kidnapping mystery of three U.S. contractors in Baghdad. The Americans are of Iraqi origin. They reportedly work at Baghdad International Airport. Three names were released, and it was reported that one contractor is female. The trio may have been attending a party at their translator’s apartment or at an apartment described as a brothel. Militias are said to raid that home in the Doura neighborhood on occasion. The search for the contractors continues, as confidence in Iraqi security is falling.

Human Rights Watch is accusing Shi’ite militias of escalating sectarian tensions, particularly in Muqdadiya, where as many as 72 civilians may have been executed. Sunni lawmakers are boycotting parliament on Tuesday to protest the violence. One of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s promises was to reign in the militias.

In Ramadi, nearly 4,000 civilians have been rescued. Many of them were being used as human shields. The unexpectedly high number of civilians is forcing Iraq troops to adjust their strategies for future operations.

At least 129 were killed and 19 were wounded in recent violence:

At least 15 bodies were discovered in a mass grave near Sinjar.

Militants executed four officers in Qayara.

In Abu Ghraib, a bomb at a market left one dead and eight wounded.

Gunmen killed a Sunni sheikh in Muqdadiya on Friday.

The body of a woman bearing gunshot wounds was found in Dohaliya.

In Mosul, 35 militants were killed for deserting battles. Militants kidnapped 26 children in order to train them.

Twenty militants were killed in an airstrike near Qadisiya.

In Falluja and Tharthar, 19 militants were killed.

Two roadside bombs killed nine militants and wounded eight more in Badush.

Nine militants were killed in Khazar.

In Hit, clashes among militants left nine dead, including two officials.

Four militants were killed and three were wounded in Garma.

Two militants were killed in Numaniya.

Read more by Margaret Griffis