At least six Iraqis were killed and five more were wounded in light attacks that focused on ministry officials in Baghdad. Meanwhile, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair‘s sister-in-law called on the International Court of Justice in The Hague to try the former premier on crimes related to the Iraq War.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki‘s partners in a tenuous government coalition are increasingly expressing outrage at a little reported court ruling that effectively takes control of several important institutions, including the election commission, away from parliament and places them directly under his authority, a move that the Iraqiya bloc called "a coup against democracy." Many Iraqis already believe Maliki has already subverted the election process, and he does stand to gain further control of the election process. It took several months of legal wrangling for Maliki to retain the premiership last year after his party failed to gain the most seats in parliamentary elections. The alleged manipulation of the process began even before the election when hundreds of Iraqiya party candidates were banned over non-existent claims they were members of the outlawed Ba’ath Party. The central bank and a corruption committee are also affected.
Vatican Ambassador to Iraq Georgio Lingua said he is satisfied with the treatment Christians are receiving in Iraqi Kurdistan. The rare good news comes after several prominent attacks against Christians have forced many members of the minority group to flee more dangerous parts of Iraq. Some took up residence in Kurdish areas of the north, while other have left the country entirely.
A U.S. oversight office is recommending halting further funding of an Iraqi academy for senior government officials because the Iraqi government has not expressed any willingness to operate the school after it is completed. About half of the $26 million needed for the project has already been spent.
Journalists are now facing the challenge of turning away cash and other favors being offered by the government. For years, Iraq has ranked high in deadliest locations for journalists. The threats did not come from solely from terrorist groups though. The government has also harassed many into silence and even closed down Baghdadiya TV last fall after the massacre at a Baghdad church.
In Baghdad, gunmen killed a director of the Security Ministry while in Allawi. A Housing Ministry employee was killed and his wife wounded during an attack on a Ghazaliya bridge. A Foreign Ministry office director was shot to death while driving in Kadhimiya. Later, a second Foreign Ministry employee was killed during a small arms attack near Nisour Square.
Three children were wounded in Gatoun during a blast at the home. The family had just returned home after having fled there due to past violence.
Gunmen killed a Sahwa member in Tarmiya.
A weapon’s cache was found in Abu Ghraib.
Two al-Qaeda suspects were arrested in Tikrit.
Nine suspects were captured in Ninewa province.
Eleven suspects were detained in Diyala province.