At least three Iraqis were killed and eight more were wounded in light violence. Two U.S. soldiers were also wounded in one of several attacks staged, possibly, to make it appear the U.S. military is fleeing Iraq. Meanwhile, one protest in support of giving Salah ad Din province region status took place, while politician Ayad Allawi raised concerns that such designations could destabilize the country.
U.S. military officials reported that two American soldiers were wounded during a rocket attack on Monday at Kalsu base near Hilla. In Diwaniya, the Iraqi Army discovered several rockets that were ready to be fired at another U.S. base. As a result of such attacks, U.S. officials accused Asaib Ahl al-Haq of targeting American soldiers in recent days to make it appear to Iraqis that the U.S. military had been chased out.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said Iraq’s military commanders still want U.S. help because the country faces many military shortcomings, but he also opposes Western or Turkish intervention in neighboring Syria. He further suggested that European or private trainers could take the place of Americans.
A protest calling for Dujail to remain within Salah ad Din province, which is seeking region status, drew in about 1,500 demonstrators. Three days ago, officials in Dujail and Balad suggested they would secede if the governing council continued the province’s bid for semi-autonomy. Separately, Iraqiya list leader Ayad Allawi warned that seeking region status now, while legal, would significantly raise sectarian tensions and destabilize Iraq. Salah ad Din began the process to gain a semi-autonomous status like that enjoyed in Iraqi Kurdistan after the central government began a crackdown on Ba’ath Party supporters that Sunni Iraqis say is just a ruse for harassment.
Gunmen killed a soldier and wounded three more in Amiriyat al-Falluja.
A restaurateur was killed outside his Saidiya home.
Two people were wounded in separate attacks in Baquba.
One person was wounded in Jbela when a bomb exploded at the home of a Mahdi Army member.
In Baghdad, a police official was wounded and his daughter was killed during an attack on them in Doura. Gunmen targeting a Culture Ministry official wounded his bodyguard instead.
Gunmen in military uniforms kidnapped a policeman and his son in Qaim.