At least two Iraqis were killed and 23 more were wounded in various attacks. A suspected Iranian suicide bomber was also killed. Meanwhile, Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders is criticizing Iraqi security forces for perpetrating unreported attacks on journalists. Also, the United States is proposing to sell Iraq $4.2 billion in weapons and aircraft.
Ayad Allawi is in Syria asking for help in curbing Iran‘s influence in selecting the next premier. It has been almost seven months since Allawi’s Iraqiya party squeaked out a win over Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki‘s State of Law party, but no new government has been formed yet. Not only does this vacuum foment violence, it also prevents many Iraqis from wanting to return home.
There is a possibility that Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and Allawi could also meet, but it is not expected. It is believed that al-Sadr has already put his support behind Maliki due to Iranian pressure. Sadr lives in Iran. Many also fear that Iran may be exploiting a splintering among Shi’ite groups to support militia attacks.
In Baghdad, a blast at the National Theater wounded five people. Two people were wounded in an explosion at the al-Shorooq building. In Saidiya, another blast wounded two people. Rockets struck the Green Zone. A senior al-Qaeda leader was arrested. A bomb was defused in Firdous Square.
Gunmen killed one civilian and wounded a second during a shooing near Baquba.
Two blasts wounded four people near a policeman’s home in Saqlawiya.
One person was wounded in a blast near Kirkuk.
A suspect was arrested in Tarmiya with 14 bombs in his possession.
Fourteen suspects were detained in Basra province.