Updated at 8:05 p.m. EST, Feb. 3, 2011
At least 20 Iraqis were killed and 62 more were wounded in the latest violence. Although these figures appear to be closer to a daily average, there were no reports from Ninewa or Diyala, which are two of the more violent provinces in Iraq. While it is possible these two areas have suddenly become very peaceful, it is more likely that attacks are going unreported or the information is not reaching the West. Also, protests against a lack of vital services took place in Baghdad and Hamza, but Madia al Rawai, a member of the Iraqi Women’s Association, warns that Iraq’s million war widows are ready to protest their poverty as well.
Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, whose autobiography comes out next week, remains a supporter of the war with Iraq and believes it was worth the costs, but he also admits he was wrong about the stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
A suicide bomber exploited a car bomb attack in Ramadi to kill eight people and wounded 22 others. When first responders arrived where a car bomb had exploded, the suicide bomber detonated his vest among them. A third blast was also reported. Separately, a roadside bomb wounded nine people.
In Baghdad, a pair of blasts killed two people and wounded 12 others, among them police and soldiers, in Waziriya. Gunmen killed a bank official in Ghazaliya. Five people were wounded, including two policemen, in a Mashtal bombing. In New Baghdad, a bomb killed two people and wounded four others. A roadside bomb in the east killed two people and wounded three others. Two bodies were found separately in the areas of Sadr City and Kadhimiya. Residents of Husseiniya protested a lack of services. Also, police defused a bomb planted near a secondary school in Adhamiya.
In the town of Hamza, in Diwaniya province, about a thousand Iraqis demanded increased food rations, power and water. Three Iraqis were wounded when police fired shots into the air to disperse the demonstrators. The crowd threw stones at police, set fires, and attempted to storm a local council building. While power, water and food shortages have been a chronic problem throughout the country, Hamza residents have recently had no water access and backed-up sewage issues.
An I.E.D. targeting a U.S. convoy in al-Hayy left no reported casualties.