With Arbaeen observances completed, violence was refocused on Sunni targets today, most notably on a police station in Ramadi. Overall, at least 23 Iraqis were killed in the violence and 34 more were wounded.
Today is Arbaeen, which marks the end of the 40-day mourning period observed by Shi’ite pilgrims in honor of Hussein bin Ali, the Prophet Mohammad’s grandson. As expected, insurgents staged a major bombing against pilgrims. It alone left about 200 casualties. Overall, at least 71 people were killed and 145 more wounded. It is unknown if any foreigners were among the casualties.
Today’s attacks appeared to take place mostly in the northern part of the country. The Kirkuk province alone saw several, some perhaps coordinated, bombings. Overall, at least 7 Iraqis were killed and 45 more were wounded in new violence. Also, an unknown number of people were injured during incidents in Latifiya and Samarra.
At least seven Iraqis were killed and 29 more were wounded. Meanwhile, four armed Americans were briefly detained in Baghdad for a security check.
Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq called for replacing his dictatorial boss during an interview today.. Separately, officials in Iraqi Kurdistan told Baghdad to consider holding Hashemi’s trial in neutral territory because they aren’t handing Vice President Tareq al-Hashimi to Maliki operatives. Meanwhile, no major attacks against Shi’ite pilgrims took place today, but least eight Iraqis were killed and nine more were wounded in new violence. Also, one Syrian militant was killed.
Updated at 8:00 p.m. EST, January 5, 2012 Despite serious attempts to prevent attacks against Shi’ite pilgrims traveling in Iraq, bombers were still able to reach them. The worst violence took place south of Baghdad, but the capital also saw great loss of life. Overall, at least 84 people were killed and 157 more were wounded in the attacks. Although most, if not all, were Iraqis, some of the casualties could have been foreign visitors.
At the risk of antagonizing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Sunni Parliamentary Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi came out against some of the excesses of the current administration. Meanwhile, at least four Iraqis were killed and 14 more were wounded in the latest violence.
US Drones misook civilians for rebels at the border between Turkey and Iraq. The attack, which may have taken place inside Iraqi territory left 35 Turkish Kurds dead and wounded 15 more who were apparently smuggling fuel. Meanwhile, at least five Iraqis were killed and 18 more were wounded.
In what may be too obvious a message against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a suicide bomber attacked the Interior Ministry, leaving dozens of victims. Overall, at least 14 Iraqis were killed and 41 more were wounded in that and other assaults across the country. Three Iranian pilgrims were also wounded in an attack in Dujail. Meanwhile, the political upheaval Maliki launched continues to threaten the coalition government.
At least 11 Iraqis were killed and 17 more were wounded as Iraqis seek reconciliation in the face of a growing threat of sectarianism. The latest blow to harmony between Iraqi’s ethnic, religious and political groups came from the prime minister who threatened to quash any attempts at increasing regional autonomy; however former rival and recent ally Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr moved forward with a Code of Honor that may tone down recent volatility.