State-run television broadcast Mass last night so that Iraq’s Christians could safely celebrate Easter at home today. Nevertheless, attacks left 12 dead and 28 wounded across the country.
At the signing of a prisoner exchange agreement between Iraq and Iran, Justice Minister Hassan al-Shimari reminded those in attendance that the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran would be expelled from Iraq this year, generating fears that the agreement would mean the forced repatriation of Camp Ashraf‘s residents. The PMOI has lived at the camp for 25 years, but the Iraqi government wants them gone, and there is no third country that will grant them asylum. If they return to Iran, they could face incarceration, torture and execution. However, they may be protected from that under the Geneva Conventions.
In Baghdad, a bomb exploded at the Sacred Heart church, wounding seven. Four policemen were wounded in a firefight outside the Mary the Virgin Catholic Church during Mass. A blast in Karrada wounded four people. Four more were wounded on Palestine Street. At least seven people were wounded during a blast at a Maghrib Street checkpoint. A sticky bomb wounded a general in Amiriya. Another bomb targeted a colonel but wounded no one. A policeman was wounded in a drive-by shooting. A bomb at the Iranian embassy left no casualties. Five other bombs were defused across the city.
A sticky bomb in Kirkuk killed an army captain.
A body was found in a river in Baquba.
The Ministry of Interior reported no deaths, but other government sources said as many as 10 policemen were killed across the country in various attacks.
A blast targeted a U.S. patrol in Numaniya.
A protest continues in Mosul, where demonstrators from other cities have joined the locals. Their main demand is the withdrawal of U.S. troops at the end of the year, but they also want an end to corruption and the release of detainees.