The Iraqi government has admitted to detaining several bodyguards working for Finance Minister Rafi al-Issawi. Meanwhile, at least three Iraqis were killed and three more were wounded in new violence.
A day after Finance Minister Rafi al-Issawi complained that armed militias had kidnapped 150 guards staff members, the Iraqi government admitted it had detained 10 of the minister’s bodyguards on terror-related charges. Thousands of protestors demonstrated against the detentions in at least two predominantly Sunni cities in Anbar province.
The current campaign against Issawi began a year ago, shortly after U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq. The premier accused Issawi of supporting assassinations in Falluja, even though the U.S. government had previously assured Maliki that Issawi was innocent. He was the third Sunni politician targeted by Maliki last December in an attempt to marginalize his political opponents. One of the other opponents was fugitive Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi who was found guilty in absentia during trials that many analysts believe were rigged.
A police major was killed in a sticky bomb explosion in Taji.
Two people were wounded near the Baiji refinery when a bomb planted on a tanker exploded.
A sticky bomb wounded a taxi driver in Muqdadiya.
Two electrical engineers were kidnapped in Samarra.