A suicide bombing in Diyala province overshadowed today’s release of provincial election results. Attacks against political candidates and other officials continued as well. Overall, at least 20 Iraqis were killed and 17 more were wounded across Iraq. No Coalition deaths were reported.
Signaling a predicted and dramatic sea change, election results were released today. Secular and independent parties, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Dawa Party, were the clear winners throughout Iraq, while the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council and candidates associated with Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr lost considerable ground. In Ninevah, Sunni Arabs won most votes, taking power away from the Kurds who won in 2005 during a heavily boycotted election. Kurdish candidates however did well in Diyala despite claims from hundreds of eligible Kurds that they were unable to vote. Also, officials in Anbar asked U.S. troops to increase patrols in case accusations of voter fraud turn into physical attacks.
A suicide bomber struck at a restaurant in Khanaqin, where at least 15 people were killed and 15 more were wounded. The owner of the restaurant and his two sons were killed. Although Khanaqin is within Diyala province, the Kurdish population there would like the area annexed to the Kurdish Autonomous Region. This conflict nearly led to tensions between local government officials and the Iraqi army last year. While the incident could have been a random attack, the timing of the event should not be ignored.
In Baghdad, a roadside bomb targeted a deputy minister, but he escaped with no injuries. Another bomb targeted a U.S. patrol on a bridge in Ghazaliya, but again no casualties were reported. Gunmen targeted a female political candidate during a drive-by shooting in Abu Dsheer but she was not hurt.
A roadside bomb near Mandali killed a man and wounded two others.
In Mosul, police killed a journalist.
Although the family of a political candidate was at home when bombers blew it up in Katoun, they managed to escape without injuries.
Security plans will be implemented in Najaf and Karbala for the culmination of the Arbaeen holiday.
The morgue in Baquba buried 30 unidentified people. Although the custom in Muslim countries is to immediately bury the dead, morgues throughout Iraq hold onto unidentified bodies in hopes that their families can claim them. Many, if not all of these victims, were likely already reported days or weeks ago.
Two suspects were arrested separately in Missan province. Explosives were also seized.
A wanted suspect was captured in Karbala.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis