Updated at 2:09 p.m. EST, Dec. 4, 2010
Many of today’s casualties were Iranian pilgrims visiting Shi’ite religious sites. The attacks, which also struck at Iraqi Shi’ite neighborhoods, came soon after it was discovered that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s may have been placing inexperienced Shi’ite loyalists into security positions. About seven Iranians were killed and 45 more were wounded in these attacks. About 11 Iraqis were also killed and 88 more were wounded. Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle made a brief, unannounced visit to Iraq.
According to a diplomatic cable recently made public by WikiLeaks, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki fired 376 highly proficient security officers from the Intelligence and Defense ministries and replaced them with inexperienced loyalists from his political party. A large percentage of the men replaced were Sunnis. The sackings occurred early in the year at about the same time Maliki was on a campaign to eliminate Sunni opposition in national elections. Hundreds of men were prevented, many on flimsy allegations of Ba’ath Party ties, from running in those elections. While the new revelations were not kept secret then, they did not garner as much attention as the political purgings did.
In Baghdad, two explosions near the Kadhim shrine killed five Iranian pilgrims and wounded 17 more pilgrims; seven Iraqis were also wounded. A car bomb in Shula left two Iranians dead and 28 more wounded; nine Iraqis were injured. A bomb exploded outside a Bayaa marketplace, killing six people and wounding 42 others. Early in the day, three roadside bombs caused one fatality. Another blast left nine wounded. Four policemen were injured during an explosion in Karrada; a lawyer was wounded in a separate blast. Three soldiers were wounded in an Amiriya bombing. A blast near Iqbaa Bin Nafi Square in Karrada killed three and wounded seven others. A policeman was wounded by a blast in Khadraa. Three civilian were wounded by an I.E.D. in Tayaran Square. In Doura, a blast wounded two civilians.
In Mosul, three men were arrested for killing a sanitation worker.