In a curious reversal of support, Shi’ite Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is now referring to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as the "dictator of the government." A spokesman for the cleric said the slight, which was released in a statement last night, was definitely intended for Maliki and not the government in general. Whether this spells an end to the Maliki administration is unclear.
A member of the Sadrist trend did say that they would not support any dictatorship, but Sadr has given and taken back his support previously. It was Sadr who helped Maliki retain the premiership for a second term. However, the cleric has been increasingly frustrated with the prime minister’s inability to solve some of Iraq’s most vexing issues. Sadr now adds wanting acclaim and taking false credit to Maliki’s faults.
At least four Iraqis were killed and five more were wounded in new attacks.
Two policemen were killed and three others were wounded during a small arms attack in Mosul.
A body found in Tuz Khormato may belong to a missing Asayesh agent.
Gunmen failed to assassinate the Director of Internal Affairs of Diyala during an attack in Baquba.