Reports of violence are still scant following the Ashura observances, but at least eight Iraqis were wounded in at least three explosions in Baghdad. Meanwhile, the Electricity Ministry has opened bidding to foreign companies on four new power stations that could boost production. Last summer, the lack of electricity lead to riots in southern Iraq.
Updated at 2:09 p.m. EST, Dec. 4, 2010 Many of today’s casualties were Iranian pilgrims visiting Shi’ite religious sites. The attacks, which also struck at Iraqi Shi’ite neighborhoods, came soon after it was discovered that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s may have been placing inexperienced Shi’ite loyalists into security positions. About seven Iranians were killed and 45 more were wounded in these attacks. About 11 Iraqis were also killed and 88 more were wounded. Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle made a brief, unannounced visit to Iraq.
Although the day was marked by light violence, newly released casualty figures for July hinted at a surge in attacks over the last month. Some blamed the increase on the delay in forming a new government. That impasse could soon be overcome as the party that received the third largest number of parliamentary seats today issued a statement completely rejecting P.M. Maliki’s return to the premiership. Should Maliki step aside, it could move the process forward. Only five Iraqis were wounded in today’s reports.
Light violence vexed Iraq, while the election blacklist continued to dominate the headlines. At least 10 Iraqis were killed and 11 more were wounded in the latest attacks. Meanwhile, a war of words is breaking out between the current and former vice presidents of the United States.
An armed group that claims to have kidnapped an American contractor in January may be holding a second American citizen. Also, an Iraqi appeals court has reversed its own decision allowing over 500 people on an election blacklist to run in March elections. While attacks were light today, at least three Iraqis were killed and eleven more were wounded in new violence.
Updated at 5:11 p.m. EST, Feb. 6, 2010 At least eight Iraqis were killed and three more were wounded in light violence. One Egyptian man was also killed. Millions of Arbaeen pilgrims are on their way home, but no attacks on the worshippers were reported today. Meanwhile, the League of the Righteous released a video containing footage of a new hostage.
At least five Iraqis were killed and one more was wounded even as Shi’ite pilgrims observe Arbaeen rituals in Karbala. Meanwhile an election blacklist thought struck down only a day ago could still be implemented. Also, Iraq wants to implement news rules on media outlets.
Updated at 8:58 p.m. EST, Feb. 3, 2009 Despite heightened security, two bombs exploded in or near the holy city of Karbala, where the blasts killed or wounded scores of Shi’ite pilgrims. Overall, at least 38 Iraqis were killed and 179 more were wounded across the country. Meanwhile, an Iraqi appeals court struck down a controversial election ban that prohibited hundreds of candidates from running in March elections. Also, the nation’s first female African-American POW has written a book describing her war experiences.
An increase in violence targeting Shi’ite pilgrims added to today’s casualty figures. At least five Iraqis were killed and 41 more were wounded in sectarian and other assaults. Hundreds of thousands of Shi’ites are now traveling to Karbala for Arbaeen observances. Many are on foot, making them more vulnerable; however, the worst attack that occurred was against security personnel in Samarra. Meanwhile, a second prominent Iraqi leader is now threatening to declare a boycott of upcoming elections and perhaps throw the entire country into disarray. Also, the Islamic State in Iraq claimed responsibility for a blast at a crime lab on Tuesday.
U.S. President Joe Biden met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to discuss pre-election tensions. Elsewhere, al least five Iraqis were killed and six more were wounded in light violence. Some attacks occurred yesterday but were left unreported until today.