Thousands of Iraqis attended protests again this Friday; however, many were in solidarity with Shi’ite protestors in Bahrain. Meanwhile, at least two Iraqis were killed and 16 more were wounded.
At first, it seemed the religious holiday of Ashuraa would result in fewer reports of violence, but several large attacks have occurred in the last few days, today included. At least seven Iraqis were killed and 69 more were killed across the country in the latest brutalities. The holiday culminates on Thursday and, incidentally, highlights the schism between Sunnis and the Shi’ites who are marking the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali. Shi’ite processions and trips to Karbala make these pilgrims easy targets for violence.
Updated at 8:41 p.m. EST, Dec. 7, 2010 At least seven Iraqis were killed and 24 more were wounded in violence that mostly occurred in the capital. Meanwhile, Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi warned that “power sharing is not happening” and threatened to quit the new government unless meaningful change happens. A senior U.S. embassy added another threat by cautioning the Iraqis against giving the Sadrists certain ministry positions. Should they ignore the advice, the United States could cut back on aid to them.
A leading Iraqiya Party member today announced a deal that could finally break the elections deadlock paralyzing the Iraqi government. Influential Shi’ite cleric Abdel Mahdi al-Karbalai seemed to be referring to the deal when he told parishioners there were “signs of a breakthrough” and “glimmers of hope.” Meanwhile, 10 Iraqis were killed and 20 more were wounded in the latest attacks. Also, an American soldier was killed in a non-combat incident in Iskandariya.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said he is wagering that sectarian violence will not surge after a massive reduction of U.S. combat troops next month. Ahead of that withdrawal, the violence continues. At least 34 Iraqis were killed and 60 more were wounded across the country. Security forces were targeted in several cities.
Updated at 7:50 p.m. EDT, July 19, 2010 An attack in northern Iraq killed one Briton and as many as three other foreign nationals. At least 17 Iraqis were killed and 55 more were wounded in that attack and in other violence across the country. Meanwhile, Ayad Allawi outlined his plans for the new government should he become the next prime minister. He also met with Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who blamed Iraq’s security woes on the United States, during a trip to Damascus.
Updated at 8:45 p.m. EDT, July 9, 2010 Attacks in the capital abated today, but one significant attack in western Baghdad left numerous casualties. At least eight Iraqis were killed and 27 more were wounded there and in other towns just north of the capital.
At least 21 Iraqis were killed and 36 more were wounded in a string of attacks that targeted police and other officials. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Maliki met with his rival in talks that could break the political impasse that is fueling some of the violence.
Updated at 8:12 p.m. EDT, May 20, 2010 At least 10 Iraqis were killed and 46 were wounded in a series of small attacks across the country. Meanwhile, the prime minister issued an incendiary statement basically telling the winning party in parliamentary elections to give up on heading the new government. Also, Turkish warplanes launched a two-hour air strike on about 50 suspected PKK rebel locations.
The formation of the new government was thrown into disarray as an Iraqi court began to disqualify candidates who ran in last month’s parliamentary elections. At least seven Iraqis were killed and 17 were wounded in new violence.