Overall, at least 31 Iraqis were killed and 22 more were wounded today. Although much of the violence targeted security forces or politicians, attacks on demonstrators in Mosul and the harassment of worshippers in Baghdad underscore the increasing sectarian tensions.
Fridays are the communal prayer day for Muslims in Iraq. For the last several weeks, Friday has also been the day Sunnis gather to protest the perceived excesses of the Shi’ite-led government. After police shot protestors in Mosul today, Iraqi Agriculture Minsiter Izzeddin al-Dolah, who is Sunni, resigned in protest. Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi, called on more Sunni ministers to resign.
In and around Samarra, gunmen stormed the home of a municipal councilman, where they injured the councilman and his brother; five other family members were killed. Five Sahwa were killed and four more were wounded during a 20-minute-long clash at a checkpoint; four militants were killed, including one wearing a bomb vest. Gunmen seriously wounded a policeman. A sheikh was arrested. Six gunmen were killed at an archaeological site.
In Mosul, police killed three Sunni protesters and wounded nine more in multiple incidents during the day. The protesters were demanding the release of a Sheikh arrested earlier today; three of the sheikh’s sons were also arrested. Separately, gunmen stormed a home where they killed an army officer, his wife and their child.
A clash in Ramadi left three dead, two al-Qaeda suspects and an Iraqi soldier. A former army officer was arrested on charges relating to organizing a protest and then released. Security forces attempted to search for wanted persons at a protest but were denied access.
One civilian was killed and three more were wounded in bombing in Alsgelh.
A bomb wounded three policemen in Baiji.
A man was killed in Muqdadiya as he was allegedly planting a bomb.
An Iraqiya office was blown-up in Shirqat, the second such attack in as many days.
In Baghdad, Security forces blocked worshippers from attending Friday prayer services at a Sunni mosque in Adhamiya; services were cancelled.