Light violence vexed Iraq, while the election blacklist continued to dominate the headlines. At least 10 Iraqis were killed and 11 more were wounded in the latest attacks. Meanwhile, a war of words is breaking out between the current and former vice presidents of the United States.
Ahmed Chalabi, who is the likely architect of a controversial election blacklist despite his denials, held a press conference today, lauding the efforts of the Accountability and Justice (De-Ba’athification) Committee in banning hundreds of allegedly Ba’athist candidates from running in next month’s elections. He also asked parliament to declare the illegal organization a terrorist group. While the legality of the committee remains in question, the blacklist stopped several popular lawmakers from running for re-election. Only about 20% of those accused could prove their innocence.
The United States has criticized the ban as lacking transparency, but if the election appears fraudulent or incites violence, it could slow the drawdown of U.S. troops. Chalabi, for his part, accused the U.S. of meddling; however, Chalabi also happens to be a candidate in the election, raising questions of his impartiality. Ali Faysal al-Lami, who is the director of the committee, likewise is running. Both belong to the Iraqi National Congress party.
Back in the United States, former Vice President Dick Cheney, chided the current vice president, Joe Biden, for wanting the Obama administration to take all credit for any successes in Iraq. Biden also said that the war was mishandled by the Bush administration and was not worth the "horrible price" paid by the United States.
Two people were killed and six more were wounded at a popular café in Sadr City.
In Baghdad, two people were wounded by a blast near a liquor store on Rabie Street. Gunmen stormed a home in Saidiya, where they killed a lawyer and his wife, before stealing a car to make their getaway. A car bomb in the Jihad neighborhood was defused safely.
In Mosul, two Iraqis were killed in separate shootings. A policeman was shot dead at a third location, in Yarmouk. A Christian was kidnapped in a fourth event.
A bomb on a highway near Saidiya left two dead and two wounded.
One Kurdish civilian was killed and another was wounded during a shooting in Ras Domez.
The airport in Najaf, while successful, stands as an example of how political meddling could stall the rebuilding of the country. Iraq is generally considered one of the world’s most corrupt countries.
Twelve suspects were arrested in Basra province.
Six suspects were detained near Kirkuk.
A Ninewa council employee was arrested on corruption charges.