A leading Iraqiya Party member today announced a deal that could finally break the elections deadlock paralyzing the Iraqi government. Influential Shi’ite cleric Abdel Mahdi al-Karbalai seemed to be referring to the deal when he told parishioners there were "signs of a breakthrough" and "glimmers of hope." Meanwhile, 10 Iraqis were killed and 20 more were wounded in the latest attacks. Also, an American soldier was killed in a non-combat incident in Iskandariya.
Aliya Nusseif, a leading member of the Iraqiya party, told reporters that Iraqiya is in the early stages of reaching a deal with the Iraqi National Alliance and the Kurdistan Alliance to select the new government. Under the agreement Adel Abdul-Mahdi would become prime minister, Ayad Allawi the president, and the Kurds would select the parliamentary speaker. The new coalition would reach 204 seats, which is more than the 163 seats needed to select the new government. It has been more than six months since the elections, but previous attempts to reach deals have failed.
Ayad Allawi, who has already had a turn as prime minister, was Iraqiya’s preferred candidate for the premiership, but the party seems to be willing to compromise even though they won the most seats in March elections. Abdul-Mahdi is a current vice president and belongs to the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council.
Separately, the current Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, said that the Kurds would not insist on retaining the presidency in the new government, but they will continue to demand "territorial adjustments" in the north. Although there already is a semi-autonomous region under Kurdish authority, many Kurds in neighboring provinces want their territories annexed to the region.
Thousands of residents in Fallujah protested against a joint Iraqi-U.S. raid that left nearly a dozen civilians dead or wounded earlier this week.
In Baghdad, one soldier was killed and nine others were wounded in a blast in Khadraa. Two policemen were wounded in an I.E.D. explosion in Adhamiya. An I.E.D. blast killed an interior ministry official in Mansour.
In Mosul, one gunman was killed and four were arrested during raids. An off-duty policeman was shot dead at a market. A young man’s body was found. Arrest warrants were issued for 100 Iraqi security officials accused of torturing detainees.
Four civilians were killed and nine more were wounded, including a policeman, when a bomb targeting a police patrol exploded in Hawija.
In Kirkuk, a body was discovered.
An arms cache was found in Karbala.
Nine people were injured during a blast in Turkey. Although the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) will likely be blamed for the bombing, the PKK are observing a self-imposed truce until Sept. 20.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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