At least 20 Iraqis were killed and 32 more were wounded in a series of attacks in the north. Among them was a jewelry heist in Kirkuk. Meanwhile, Tariq Aziz has been sentenced to death for his role in "persecuting Shi’ites" during the Saddam era.
Iraq’s former foreign minister and Saddam aide, Tariq Aziz, has been sentenced to death for "persecuting Shi’ites" and has 30 days to appeal the verdict. His lawyer accused the government of handing down the sentence to divert attention from Wikileaks revelations of prisoner abuse. Meanwhile, his family has been vocal about their fears for Aziz since he was transferred to Iraqi custody last summer and believe Aziz to be a victim of revenge. Because Aziz is a Christian, the Vatican has called for the execution to be halted for the sake of reconciliation and may try to intervene diplomatically.
Although Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and officials in his government have denied, in the wake of the Wikileaks documents release, that security personnel committed war crimes while under their authority, politicians in Diyala province stress that Maliki’s office has at least been on a harassment campaign against the province’s Sunni leaders.
According to Transparency International‘s annual survey, Iraq has placed fourth in its ranking of most corrupt nations.
Three armed teams attacked jewelry shops in Kirkuk, killing at least 10 people and wounding 15 more. Civilians as well as security personnel were among the casualties. Officials fear that insurgent groups are now relying on robbery to fund their operations.
In Baghdad, a bomb wounded a civilian in Doura. Gunmen wounded a soldier during an attack in Mansour. An earlier attack in Mansour left one soldier dead and another injured. Four people were wounded during an assassination attempt on a planning ministry undersecretary.
An explosion in Khalis killed an Iraqi officer and five soldiers.
Four civilians were wounded during a blast in Baquba.