Updated at 11:21 p.m. EDT, June 24, 2010
The formation of the new government came across a new roadblock, this one over the failure of two large Shi’ite groups to compromise on the selection of the next prime minister. This new delay could mean further destabilization of Iraq’s fragile security gains. At least 24 Iraqis were killed and 33 more were wounded in attacks that targeted security personnel. Also, Gen. David Petraeus, who once commanded American forces in Iraq, is now in charge of operations in Afghanistan.
A merger between Shi’ite parties that could have resulted in a bloc that would deprive the sectarian Iraqiya party a place in the next government is apparently falling apart over the choice of prime minister. The Iraqi National Alliance (INA) does not want to give Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who nearly triggered a civil war in 2008 to undermine the Sadrists political aspirations, a second term as premier. Perhaps the best signal that there is a retreat from this super-coalition is the arrest of three Mahdi Army fighters in Baghdad. The INA is an alliance of Shi’ite group including followers of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. The Mahdi Army is the armed wing of the Sadrists.
Iraqiya has been using this opportunity to meet with Kurdish representatives in hopes of building support in the north. Such long-term negotiations were expected even before March elections resulted in a near dead heat. Iraqiya, which won the most seats of any group, did not achieve the majority required to outright form the next government.
In Mosul, two suicide bombers attacked an army base in the Kokajli district, where they killed one soldier and wounded five others. Four policemen were killed and four more were wounded when a suicide bomber attacked a checkpoint in Shifaa. A bomb killed two policemen and wounded five others. Late yesterday, gunmen killed three policemen at an al-Iqtesadiyeen checkpoint. A civilian was wounded in a blast in al-Islah al-Zeraie. Also, six suspected al-Qaeda members were captured.
Gunmen killed two Sahwa members and one of their wives near Duluiya in Sulaybi village. The gunmen were wearing military uniforms, but it is unknown whether they were actual military servicemembers or militants in disguise.
Six people were wounded in Rashad when a bomb targeting a police official blasted his motorcade.
In Khalidiya, another potential suicide bomber was killed by police.
Police liberated a hostage in Garma.