Updated at 11:28 p.m. EDT, June 19, 2010
Violence in Iraq tapered off significantly today, but at least six Iraqis were killed and 16 more wounded in new attacks. Meanwhile, tensions at the Turkish border revved up after more PKK strikes. Also, Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi said that Iraqi and U.S. sources warned him of assassination attempts. The Department of Defense reported on Thursday’s non-combat death of a U.S. soldier in Mosul as well.
Turkish military claimed new clashes with Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels in Turkey have left at least 22 dead and 14 wounded overnight. Troops responded with an airstrike on rebel hideouts in northern Iraq. The PKK has fought a decades-long guerilla war to create an independent Kurdistan across Turkey, Iraq and neighboring countries. They recently ended a unilateral truce that Ankara ignored as a peace offering. Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Turkey would fight the PKK until the rebel group is eradicated. The PKK in turnwarned of country-wide attacks should the Turkish military continue its operations.
Hundreds protested electrical shortages in Basra, where summertime temperatures are already reaching 120 degrees. The demonstrators threw rocks at the provincial council building and set fire to a guard’s cabin. Security forces then fired into the air, killing two demonstrators and wounded three others. Residents complained that the situation worsened under the current minister, and now they are left with only one hour of electricity and little water in temperatures that easily climb over 125 degrees Fahrenheit (50C). Officials tightened security in Kut to prevent a spread of violence.
Gunmen attacked an Awakening Council (Sahwa) checkpoint south of Baghdad in Jbala, where they killed three Sahwa members.
In Baghdad, security officials staged a sit-in to protest the slow formation of the new government. Two civilians were wounded in a blast in Saidiya, when police arrived to investigate a second bomb wounded five of them.
An al-Qaeda suspect was arrested in Riyadh.