Because of Ashuraa observances, reports of violence have been scant the last few days except for significant attacks. Only six casualties were reported today and all of them survived. However, there were a number of important news stories in the headlines today.
Shi’ite pilgrims are still flowing into Karbala for the climax of Ashuraa observances and where many of them sang anti-corruption songs. Although there was no significant violence against them today in Iraq, pilgrims suffered a major attack in neighborhing Iran.
Several concessions demanded by Kurdish politicians in exchange for supporting Nouri al-Maliki‘s campaign for the premiership were revealed. Unsurprisingly, oil was a centerpiece of the negotiations. Because of such support, the Iraqiya party failed to win the prime minister’s post even though the party won the largest number of seats in parliament. Now, Iraqiya and Kurdish lawmakers are at odds over some of these concessions.
Ten Iraqiya members left the party in protest after they learned that their leader Ayad Allawi presented Maliki with his own candidates for government posts, bypassing a party mechanism for selection. The two met yesterday where Allawi not only presented his selections but also accepted a leadership role in a new council.
The United Nations lifted various sanctions that were imposed after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Among them is the ability to pursue nuclear technology. Some limits remain.
An unknown number of asylum seekers from Iraq and Iran were killed when their boat struck jagged rocks during foul weather in the Indian Ocean near Australia’s Christmas Island. At least 27 were killed, but there are missing passengers as well as survivors.
In Baghdad, three civilians were wounded when a bomb exploded near a Shi’ite procession in Zayouna. A bomb targeting Sunni endowment personnel wounded three in Adhamiya.
A 21-year-old Christian woman was abducted in Mosul.
In Karbala, 39 suspects were captured.