Updated at 6:38 p.m., EST, Feb. 7, 2010
An armed group that claims to have kidnapped an American contractor in January may be holding a second American citizen. Also, an Iraqi appeals court has reversed its own decision that allowed over 500 people on an election blacklist to run in March elections. While attacks were light today, at least three Iraqis were killed and eleven more were wounded in new violence.
The League of the Righteous (Asa’ib al Haq) is now claiming it has two Americans in its custody. Yesterday, video surfaced on an American contractor of Iraqi descent who went AWOL on Jan. 23. He was apparently looking for Iraqi relatives when he kidnapped by Asa’ib al Haq.
An Iraq appeals court overturned its own decision to allow over 500 candidates on an election blacklist to run in March election. The blacklist purportedly targets candidates who are still loyal to the old regime, but many candidates have complained they are being unfairly targeted for political reasons. The judges are now will now look at those cases before the election. The reversal came on the day parliament was to have discussed the issue of an elections blacklist. Lawmakers met but broke before taking action.
Hundreds of protesters in Basra meanwhile denounced Iraqis who may still be loyal to the Ba’ath Party or Saddam Hussein. Some analysts have noted that the blacklist seems to target secular candidates, which if true would help sectarian parties across Iraq and in Basra. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki who also stands to gain politically from the blacklisting again denounced the Ba’ath Party today. He has placed the blame for recent bombings on the party.
A bomb left on a minibus killed one person and wounded three in Diwaniya province’s Daghara district.
In Mosul, gunmen killed a female candidate who was visiting from Baghdad, where she works as a veterinarian; her relative was also wounded.
Near Saidiya, a blast wounded three Iraqi servicemembers.
Gunmen in Rawa booby-trapped a home belonging to a Sahwa member, injuring the man’s wife and two children.
In Baghdad, a sticky bomb killed a man and wounded another in Adhamiya. Three bridges are on lockdown in response to rumors of suicide attacks. A wanted man was captured.
Employees were allowed to resume entering the Salah al-Din provincial building which has been occupied since late last month.
Security forces in Tal Afar arrested a suspected assassin
Eleven susptects were detained in Touz Khormato.
The Ministry of the Interior arrested 43 suspects across Iraq. Included among them is an Iraqi who came in from Syria.