During a press conference today, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki threatened his Sunni opponents and warned the Kurds not to harbor Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi or there would be problems. Meanwhile, at least six Iraqis were killed and 10 more were wounded in new attacks, and Camp Ashraf may finally be closing down.
Maliki told boycotting Iraqiya members to return to parliament or get shut out of government completely. Those in the council of ministers face replacement if they do not return. Maliki also said he would also release dossiers implicating his political enemies in terrorist acts. Earlier this year, Maliki forced out the head of the Integrity Commission who then charged Maliki with the intent of creating false dossiers on his rivals.
The Iraqi bloc responded by calling on the National Alliance to nominate a new candidate for prime minister, saying that it is necessary to replace Maliki to avoid a new dictatorship.Fuad Hussein, Chief of Staff to the President of the Kurdistan Regional Government, said the Kurds would not return Hashemi to Baghdad, and they are willing to host a trial. Because of the crisis, Ambassador James F. Jeffrey was forced to cut short a holiday trip to return to Baghdad to deal with the situation.
The Mujahedeen e-Khalq has tentatively agreed to move 3,500 members from their Camp Ashraf home to the former U.S. Camp Liberty near Baghdad. From there they will be relocated to a third country. The Iraqi government backed off its threat to close the camp by the end of the year. Instead, it will close next month and the Iranian dissidents will have to leave Iraq by April.
In Kirkuk, a sticky bomb killed a judge and his bodyguard. The judge’s son was also wounded. At the hospital where the judge was taken, a second bomb wounded two civilians.At least two others were wounded during the bombings.
A sticky bomb killed a Sahwa leader in Abu Ghraib.
A policeman was killed during a shooting in Mosul.
At a market in Baquba, a gunman shot and wounded a local mayor.
Two policemen were wounded at a Samarra checkpoint.
A policeman and a woman were wounded in a drive-by shooting in Qayara.