Attacks on Arbaeen pilgrims continued today, presaging what could be a particularly violent week. At least 28 Iraqis were killed in the both sectarian and other attacks. Another 82 were wounded, along with 16 pilgrims from Afghanistan.
Besides the religious holiday, political issues may be behind some of the bloodshed. Officials in Kurdistan said they finally received an arrest warrant for Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who is accused of terrorist acts. The accusations had triggered a walkout by the Iraqiya party, but the boycott may be in its final days. President Jalal Talabani is on his way to Baghdad for talks on the crisis.
Still, Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi insists that the vice president’s case must be tried in an independent court, far away from any manipulations by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s administration. The premier, meanwhile, has asked officials to speed up the handover of security issues to the Interior Ministry, which is under his control.
In Baghdad, at least eight people were killed and as many as 27 more were wounded in a blast targeting Shi’ite pilgrims walking through the Sunni neighborhood of Muwasalat. A car bomb in Shabb killed seven and wounded 19 people. Gunmen stormed the Karrada home of a bank manager, where they killed her and her husband. Six people were wounded in a bombing in Jisr Diyala. Two more were wounded in a blast in Qahira.
Sixteen Afghan pilgrims were wounded in a blast outside of Hilla.
One pilgrim was killed and nine others were wounded while walking through Owairij.
In Mosul, an I.E.D. blast killed two soldiers and wounded four more.
Bombs planted near a policeman’s home killed one person and wounded four others in Falluja.
One soldier was killed and three more were wounded in a blast in Garma.
A Khadra community leader was shot to death.
A bomb in Qaim killed a policeman.
Four family members were wounded in Yathrib when a sticky bomb was detonated.
A government employee and his son were wounded during a blast near Baquba.
A blast at a shrine near Hilla wounded four people.