At least 37 Iraqis were killed and 12 more were wounded. Among the dead were 21 convicts who were executed. Meanwhile, one of the premier’s political rivals was effectively pushed out of politics after being convicted on dubious corruption charges.
Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) chief Faraj Haidari and two other officials were convicted on graft charges, effectively barring them from holding public office again. The trio was given probation and will serve no time in prison. However, the apparent point of the arrest on old charges was to remove Prime Minister Nouri Maliki’s enemies from one of the few political offices he does not directly control. Haidari had particulary earned Maliki’s wrath after the 2010 elections.
Iraq executed 21 people, including three women, found guilty on terrorism charges. Earlier in 2012, Iraq put to death at least 70 other convicts in multiple executions. That figure is twice last year’s number. Recently, the United Nations called on Iraq to end capital punishment, complaining that the government was too secretive when handing out death sentences to 196 convicts in Anbar province. Amnesty International and Humans Rights Watch have also criticized Iraq’s use of the death penalty.
In Baghdad, gunmen attacked a number of checkpoints where they were repelled with the help of helicopters. At least seven soldiers were killed when rockets were fired at their convoy. Gunmen killed two soldiers in Waziriya. An explosion was heard in Amiriya.
Four soldiers were killed and three more were wounded during clashes in Nibaie.
A bomb at a police major’s home in Falluja killed his neighbor and wounded seven others.
In Mosul, killed a policeman.
An unidentified body was recovered in Kirkuk.
A blast in Gatoun wounded two people.