Iraq announced the execution of a high-profile Saddam Hussein aide today. Another 11 Iraqis were killed in other violence. At least six were also wounded. Several of the casualties occurred during a cross border operation involving Iranian forces. Meanwhile, a group lawmakers defected from a coalition seeking the removal of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki from office.
The Justice Ministry announced the execution of a Saddam Hussein bodyguard and secretary, who has been described as "Saddam’s right hand man." Abed Hamid Hmoud was sentenced to death over a crackdown on religious parties in the 1980s.
Iranian forces crossed the border into Suleimaniya province where they killed one Kurdish civilian and wounded two others who transport materials across the border. Iranian forces have regularly crossed or shot artillery over the border during operations against Kurdish rebels. Turkish warplanes also crossed the border, but no weapons fire was reported.
A splinter group of 37 lawmakers associated with the Iraqiya bloc visited Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office today to show their opposition to a no-confidence vote for Maliki. The motion has yet to be scheduled, but this apparent defection from the bloc could end the effort to oust Maliki through a vote in parliament.
A coalition representing various Sunni, Sadrist and Kurdish parties said it had collected more than the necessary 164 signatures on a petition demanding the vote. That petition is currently being checked for validity. The splinter group, however, is claiming a campaign of blackmail and intimidation was used to gain many of the signatures. Maliki has also made claims of fraud.
At least 10 other Iraqis were killed and four more were wounded.
In Baghdad, a sticky bomb killed a policeman in the Jihad area. Another policeman was wounded in a shooting in Shaab. During a prison transfer, a detainee killed two guards and wounded a third one before killing himself.
Clashes in Zahra left one policeman dead and another wounded.
Gunmen killed three Sahwa members during an attack in Tarmiya.
A taxi driver was shot to death in Taji.
Gunmen killed an off-duty policeman in Qayara.
Mortars in Mherfah wounded a civilian.
Near Karbala, security forces liberated a child and arrested his kidnappers.