Attacks tapered off today, but at least eight Iraqis were killed and 21 more wounded in new violence. Also, a U.S. Dept. of Defense employee of unknown nationality died of unreported causes. Meanwhile, an offer to restart the Mahdi Army was turned down by Iraqi officials, but rogue elements could be operating within the official security forces.
Updated at 6:06 p.m. EDT, April 20, 2010 A partial but controversial ballot recount ordered for Baghdad province is raising concerns over election manipulation and pushing Iraq towards instability at a time when politicians should be creating the next government. At least 11 Iraqis were killed and 29 more were wounded in violence across Iraq. Also, a third high-ranking al-Qaeda leader was killed during a raid this morning in northern Iraq.
The confirmation of the deaths of two al-Qaeda figures on the U.S. most wanted list outweighed even the revelation of a secret Iraqi prison where hundreds of Sunni men may have tortured and the recount of votes from the national election. Meanwhile, at least four Iraqis were killed and 11 more were wounded in other attacks. Also, a U.S. soldier died of non-combat injuries in Basra.
At least eight Iraqis were killed and 47 more were wounded in today’s attacks, but good news came out of Iraq as well. An Iraqi-American contractor held hostage in Iraq was released in good health into U.S. custody. Also, a bomb attack in Qaim apparently killed an Iraqiya candidate.
Although few casualties were reported today, a message from an al-Qaeda leader is raising fears of a coming surge in violence. At least two Iraqis were killed and 15 more were wounded in today’s attacks. Also, a Saddam-era mass grave gave up about 20 victims. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stressed that he will not recognize election results until there is a recount. In the U.S., a four star general testified in a hearing concerning the murder of Iraqis in Haditha five years ago.
Updated at 7:16 p.m. EDT, March 17, 2010 With final results from national elections expected later this week, an apparent dead heat between the two front-runners could signal months of political wrangling ahead. Meanwhile, at least three Iraqis were killed and 14 more were wounded in the latest attacks. Kurds spent the day commemorating the 1988 Halabja massacre, for which Chemical Ali was executed only this year. Also, U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown admitted misinforming the Chilcot Inquiry over defense spending for Iraq.
While there were few reports of attacks out of the country today, a string of blasts struck political targets in Baghdad, where the main talk of the day centered on the legitimacy of the upcoming election. Should Iraqis bow out of participating, it could re-ignite sectarian fighting if it has not already. At least two Iraqis were killed and 22 were wounded in the latest violence.