U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said he is wagering that sectarian violence will not surge after a massive reduction of U.S. combat troops next month. Ahead of that withdrawal, the violence continues. At least 34 Iraqis were killed and 60 more were wounded across the country. Security forces were targeted in several cities.
In the latest news about the political impasse preventing the creation of the new government, Ayad Allawi said he is willing to step aside and allow another member of his Iraqiya party to take over as prime minister if it will settle the impasse. Not to be outdone in the headlines, a member of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law party insisted that Maliki’s return to the office would allay both U.S. and Iranian fears. Indeed, Iran may be demanding that Maliki continue in his role. Meanwhile, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said he is embarrassed over his government’s paralysis. He even admitted to avoiding foreign visits over the issue.
The E.U. extended its European Union Integrated Rule of Law Mission for Iraq, through June 2012. EUJUST LEX provides senior Iraqi officials with services meant to enhance the rule of law and strengthen human rights.
A judge in Spain issued arrest warrants for three U.S. servicemembers accused of killing a Spanish journalist in 2003.
In Baghdad, 16 Iraqis were killed and 17 more were wounded during a complex attack on a checkpoint in Adhamiya; a clash and at least five blasts were reported. Separately, gunmen killed a police officer and a Sahwa leader in al-Shurta al-Khamesa.
Four soldiers were killed and 11 were wounded in a suicide blast in Shurqat.
In Fallujah, an imam has died of wounds received in a bombing yesterday. The number of other casualties also rose by one dead and six wounded to a total of two dead and eight wounded, including two children. Four people were wounded in a separate blast this morning. Three Iraqi soldiers were killed and nine were wounded in two roadside bomb attacks as well. At least two others were killed today.
A blast in Saqlawiya killed one soldier and wounded five others, including two civilians.
One person was killed and three were wounded in a family feud near Baquba.
A bomb on a highway near Kanaan wounded three people on a minibus.
A policeman was killed and two bodyguards were wounded during a sticky bomb attack on a brigadier general’s motorcade in Qayara.
In Mosul, an unidentified body was discovered.
In al-Mahlabiya, an off-duty policeman was shot dead as he suspiciously drove towards a group of oil protection employees waiting for their paychecks.
Two Islamic State in Iraq leaders were captured in Yathrib.
A suspect was arrested in Dujail.
The Justice Department freed 186 detainees for lack of evidence.