Attacks tapered off significantly after one of the bloodiest days in months. Security was tightened at checkpoints, while Iraqi forces conducted house-to-house searches hoping to find those responsible for yesterday’s multiple attacks. Babel and Basra have announced mourning periods. Today, at least one Iraqi was killed and eight more were wounded in new attacks.
Because of the violence, U.S. commanders are reconsidering the pace of the U.S. drawdown and will try to keep most troops in Iraq until an August deadline. Meanwhile, Iraqiya party leader, Ayad Allawi, warned that sectarian tensions could boil over into neighboring countries if the election impasse is not resolved soon. Iraqiya won the most seats in the new parliament but is being squeezed out creating the new government by a coalition composed of its rivals. The confusion could be feeding the violence.
A large protest took place in Arbil, where demonstrators tried to storm the Kurdish Regional Government’s parliament building. At issue is the murder of a local journalist who criticized the local government. Some believe Kurdish intelligence or security forces were behind the death.
Two bombs were defused in Ramadi.
Baquba police liberated a young girl who had been kidnapped three days ago.
In Baghdad, police arrested three people who shot at them in the Harithiya neighborhood.
Police arrested 12 suspects in Iskandariya, for their possible involvement in yesterday’s attack in Hilla.
In Riyadh, a suspect was arrested and a roadside bomb was defused.
Eight suspects were detained in Basra.
Three suspects were captured in Khanaqin.
Two suspects were arrested in Kirkuk.
In Hilla, police are investigating 40 guards at the factory where yesterday’s bombing killed or wounded hundreds of people.