Updated at 8:50 p.m. EST, Dec. 29, 2009
At least 12 Iraqis were killed and 26 more were wounded in the latest attacks. Meanwhile, Iraq’s national security adviser reiterated claims that Ba’athists are planning new attacks ahead of national elections.
National security adviser Safa Hussein told AFP that al-Qaeda in Iraq has come under increased influence from former Ba’athists and that al-Qaeda would be implementing attacks ahead of March elections. Iraq accused former Ba’athists for recent anti-government bombings in Baghdad; however, the U.S. blamed al-Qaeda elements alone. In either case, politics could be behind the finger pointing. The Maliki government needs to undermine opponents ahead of the elections, and the U.S. must not admit it has been fighting Iraqi citizens all along.
Just north of Baghdad in the village of Tal Massoud gunmen attacked an Awakening Council (Sahwa) checkpoint and killed five Sahwa members manning it. Four men were shot to death, while the fifth man was beheaded. Attacks against the Sahwa have increased lately, even as many of the Sahwa complain that the Iraqi government is not keeping promises made to them.
In Baghdad, two people were killed and 13 more were wounded in a blast on Palestine St. that may have targeted a newspaper’s offices. A late evening mortar attack in the Baladiyat neighborhood killed two women and injured five others, including small children. An army intelligence officer was shot to death, also in Baladiyat.
A hand grenade attack in central Mosul left three wounded. Gunmen in the Nour neighborhood killed one civilian and wounded a nine-year-old. Last night a bomb blast killed a policeman and wounded two others.
In Kirkuk, a judge and his wife were injured in a small arms attack.
No casualties were reported after a U.S. vehicle struck an I.E.D. in Suhayl village.
Police in Dhi Qar province arrested five wanted suspects and found rockets.
Ten suspects were detained in Basra province.
In Rabeaa, gunmen attacked a vehicle carrying the salaries of healthcare workers. No casualties were reported, but the gunmen made off with 44 million Iraqi dinars. Gunmen have always robbed banks, armored trucks, petrol stations, and other places where they can get money to finance more attacks, but after security crackdowns it may now be their main source of funding.
The municipal council in Tal Afar demanded security forces to implement more measures to protect the council and to reveal the results of an investigation into the council leader’s assassination last week.
A criminal court has sentenced three people to death for their involvement in a deadly attack in Turkman city of Taza last June.