While at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi described the Shi’ite militias as a “parallel army” and the greatest security threat to Iraq’s future. Nujaifi is the highest-ranking Sunni in Iraq’s government. He wants the militias disarmed while also strengthening the military capabilities of recently liberated areas of Iraq. The Sunnis, he says, need ground support from U.S. forces.
Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ordered his followers in the Saraya al-Salam militia unit to withdraw from Kirkuk after their offices were bombed earlier this week.
In Sinjar, Yazidis are reportedly fleeing the growing numbers of Shi’ite militiamen entering the city.
Sunni Arabs in Kirkuk demanded to know the fate of their loved ones who were arrested by the Kurdish intelligence agency, Asayesh, since 2003.
Germany’s outgoing Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned the German Parliament that Iraq needs more international forces there to prevent any escalation of violence.
At least five people were killed, and five wounded in recent violence:
In Hammam al-Ali, two civilians were killed in crossfire between police and unknown gunmen.
One person was killed and five were wounded in a blast in Haswa.
A bombing left several casualties in Tuz Khormato.
In Baghdad, security forces killed two bombers who were attempting to attack Arbaeen pilgrims.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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