Kurdish Forces Stand Ground in Hashemi Case; 6 Iraqis Killed in Attacks

Kurdish security forces publicly informed the central government that they would need permission to enter Iraqi Kurdistan to arrest Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi. Meanwhile, the United Nations decried Iraq’s failure to help citizens made homeless by years of bloodshed. Also, at least six Iraqis were killed and 16 more were wounded in fresh violence.

An official from the Kurdish Peshmerga Ministry refuted statements that Baghdad can legally send a security force into Iraqi Kurdistan to arrest Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi. Anwar Haji Othman said the federal government must first coordinate the arrest with the local officials. Baghdad is desperate to bring the vice president back to stand trial on terrorism charges. In December, Hashemi fled to Kurdistan where he awaits the opportunity to make his case in a fair court, far out of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s reach.

A United Nations diplomat, Claire Bourgeois, criticized Iraq for failing to properly help the 1.3 million Iraqis rendered homeless by sectarian violence. Many lost their identification documents, which they need for government assistance, when they fled their homes due to the violence. The government itself is adding to their woes by removing some of the displaced Iraqis from otherwise empty buildings they illegally took refuge in.

Two State of Law parliamentary members denied reports that Shi’ite Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called P.M. Maliki a "dictator."

Fearing replacement, the governor of Diyala province will resume work tomorrow. Abdel Nasser al-Mahdawi had fled Baquba fearing for his life after the provincial council voted to launch an autonomy bid. Violent protests followed the vote.

At least six Iraqis were killed and 16 more were wounded in new attacks:

A bomb killed two civilians and wounded four others at a market in Buhriz.

In Baghdad, one civilian was killed and an Interior Ministry colonel was wounded in a drive-by shooting. Six people were wounded during a blast in Adhamiya.

An I.E.D. in Tuz Khormato wounded three policemen when it exploded.

Gunmen killed one policeman and wounded a second in Mosul. A soldier was killed in a separate attack. Also, a gunman was shot dead after shooting and wounding a soldier.

Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has been covering Iraqi casualties for Antiwar.com since 2006.