Updated at 8:57 p.m. EST, Jan. 22, 2010
At least two Iraqis were killed and four more were wounded in light, prayer day violence. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden flew to Iraq to stress Washington’s concerns about upcoming elections. Despite that, the De-Ba’athification committee could add more names to a list of banned political candidates as early as tomorrow.
Although President Jalal Talabani yesterday questioned the authority of the Accountability and Justice (De-Ba’athification) Committee to ban candidates from March elections, Iraq’s electoral commission believes that more names could be added to the blacklist as early as tomorrow. De-Ba’athification centers on the candidates’ ties to Saddam Hussein and the now banned Ba’ath Party. Because several popular and prominent Sunni politicians and officials are on the list, many critics believe the committee’s actions are political and meant to undermine Sunni power. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s supports the blacklist, which could eliminate his political rivals from running. Hoping to clear up the situation long before the elections, U.S. Vice President Biden is on a two-day trip to Iraq.
The U.S. Embassy is hoping to find Iraqi friends for it’s new Facebook page. The aim is to educate Iraqis on American culture and customs.
In Baghdad, two policemen were killed in separate small arms attacks.
A suicide bomber in Baaj blew up a truck, injuring an army officer in the process.
Diwaniya Police denied a blast targeted the governor of Najaf.
Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani is visiting Karbala to help plan security ahead of the Arbaeen pilgrimage.