Thousands of Iraqis attended protests again this Friday; however, many of the protests were in solidarity with Shi’ite protestors in Bahrain. Meanwhile, at least two Iraqis were killed and 16 more were wounded.
US Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs William R. Brownfield visited Baghdad, Basra and Arbil during his first trip to Iraq. The State Department also issued a statement describing the handing over of security training for Iraqi police to their authority. That will begin in October. Separately, both Iraq and the United States are weighing the pros and cons of retaining U.S. troops in Iraq beyond the end of this year. If they do not stay, the State Department could take over many of their operations while still allowing the United State to fulfill a commitment to withdraw all U.S. military troops by the end of the year.
Protests occurred in cities across Iraq, with thousands attending those in Sadr City and Basra. Until now protests have mostly been against poor services and corruption in Iraq. The protestors in these latest demonstrations are also denouncing attacks on protestors in Bahrain. Parliament even joined in when the speaker suspended the current session in support of Bahraini protests. Separately, Iraqiya party leader Ayad Allawi has reportedly been asked by the Bahrain opposition to help resolve the crisis.
Fifteen demonstrators were wounded in Falluja when soldiers using batons dispersed the crowd. This protest focused on the years-long detention, without trail, of prisoners. Iraq has been accused of detaining thousands without trial since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. In recent years, several secret prisons have been found as well.
An old bomb killed two children and wounded their playmate in Tuz Khormato.
A U.S. base in Diwaniya suffered a rocket attack.
Five rockets were found in Kut.