There may be a break in the referendum stalemate. Kurdish President Massoud Barzani met with Iraqi Vice Presidents Ayad Allawi and Usam al-Nujaifi in Sulaimaniya on Saturday to discuss ending sanctions on Kurdistan. Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri also mentioned to reporters that there are efforts to resume talks.
The controversy over flag use at funeral services for former Iraq President Jalal Talabani continued into Saturday, with his niece openly questioning organizers. Ala Talabani, who is also a legislator, said that an Iraqi flag had been brought to the funeral but surprisingly disappeared. She also thought it curious that her uncle’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party did not organize events. Mala Bakhtiyar, a P.U.K. executive member, blamed the fiasco on a protocol team but reassured the public that an Iraqi flag has been placed at Talabani’s gravesite.
Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on Iraqis to resist blaming innocent Kurds and not add to the political strife.
The International Organization for Migration reported that over 33,000 people in Hawija were displaced during security operations over the last two weeks.
At least 95 people were killed and 15 were wounded:
In Sinjar, an old bomb killed two people and wounded two more.
A bomb in Abu Ghraib killed one person and wounded eight more.
A policeman was shot dead in Baquba.
Three Peshmerga were wounded when Shi’ite forces conducting an operation near Shalalat apparently fired on the Kurdish line.
Strikes on Qaim left 46 militants dead.
Security personnel killed nine militants in Shirqat.
Strikes on Leheib killed six militants.
At a train station near Anah, three suicide bombers were killed.
Two suicide bombers were killed in Ramadi.
In Abbara, an airstrike killed two militants.
An airstrike killed a militant in Diyala province.
A suicide bomber was killed at Kilo 35.
The Hamrin Mountains have been recaptured.
Heavy shelling has been reported in Rawah.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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