Updated at 1:32 p.m. EST, Feb. 13, 2011
At least 50 Iraqis were killed and 83 more were wounded in news attacks. The lion’s share of casualties occurred in Samarra where Shi’ite pilgrims are gathering to observe the anniversary of the death of Hasan al-Askari.
Despite a severe electricity shortage that has already ignited riots and demonstrations, the Iraqi government announced increased subsidies to Iraqi citizens. The first 1000 kilowatts-hours per month will now be free to all Iraqis. While this will help the poorest Iraqis, it could induce even more shortages as it undermines previous price increases that were designed to curb usage. Meanwhile, oil workers in Kirkuk threatened a strike if their work conditions did not improve.
The mayor of Balad said that 48 Iraqis were killed and 80 were wounded during a suicide bombing at a checkpoint leading to Samarra. This is the second significant attack against Shi’ite pilgrims in the area in recent days.
A 21-year-old student was killed when a strange device he found while digging exploded. Police believe the device belongs to the army.
A bomb planted near a Sahwa member’s home in Jellam wounded two sons when it exploded.
A man was wounded during a blast in Baquba; three suspects were arrested in connection.
Across Diyala province, 25 suspects were captured.
Residents of Samawa demonstrated for increased services.