Few reports of violence came out of Iraq today. At least two Iraqis were killed and another was wounded in them. In a speech, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called for strengthening the federal government. Meanwhile, the head of Iraq’s independent electoral commission said that issues regarding a minority quota have made setting up elections more difficult. Also, Iran denied a Sunni parliamentary delegation permission to land in Tehran, claiming the type of plane they were using was at issue.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who is Kurdish, met with the leader of the Kurdistan Autonomous Region, Massoud Barazani. The two statesmen discussed issues concerning Iraq in general and the Kurdistan region in particular. In recent weeks, tensions between Kurds and the central government increased due to issues surrounding provincial elections and the situation in Kurdish regions of Diyala province.
In Baghdad, gunmen blew up a house belonging to a displaced Iraqi family.
Police liberated a hostage in Baquba.
A suspect was detained in Tal Afar.
In Saidiya, three gunmen were caught planting a roadside bomb.
During a raid in Wihda, police discovered a cache of weapons. Two women and a man at the home were detained.
The al-Fatla tribe unanimously condemned a police raid on a home belonging to their chieftain’s brother near Diwaniya. A number of separate tribes joined them. They say the raid was “sowing the seeds of sedition between the tribe and the state.” This comes a day after the Interior Ministry gave Diwaniya police the extraordinary power to conduct raids outside their jurisdiction.
Turkey’s military staged a third air strike in as many days on suspected Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) locations in northern Iraq. The PKK denied having fighters in the Avasin Basyan area, but they did confirm holding two missing Turkish soldiers, possibly dead, in their custody. Accurate information out of these sparsely populated regions is difficult to come by. Both the PKK and Turkish officials are thought to exaggerate their reports.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis