Updated at 8:18 p.m. EST, April 2, 2010
At least six Iraqis were killed and two more were wounded in the latest violence Also, U.S. Navy Adm. Eric Olson said the number of U.S. special forces personnel will remain the same in Iraq even after the withdrawal of combat troops.
The head of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC), Ammar al-Hakim, said that his party would not participate in the new government without Iraqiya and are open to aligning themselves with the Iraqiya list. The announcement came after Hakim met with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. This development undermines Maliki’s hopes to continue as Prime Minister. The SIIC is part of the Iraqi National Alliance (INA), and Maliki was counting on the INA to help him retain power.
Another component of the INA are the Sadrists, the followers of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. They are holding a referendum today and tomorrow to determine which candidate they favor. Iraqiya won the most seats in recent elections, followed by Maliki’s State of Law party and the INA. Under their parliamentary system, they must now work together to pick the new prime minister.
U.S. forces killed at least three top al-Qaeda officials and arrested 12 more suspects, including other al-Qaeda leaders during joint Iraqi-U.S. operations over the last couple weeks in the Mosul area.
A bomb and a rocket were seized in Kirkuk.
In Turkey, clashes between Turkish forces and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels left seven PKK dead.