At least 147 people were killed across Iraq today. Bombs in the Baghdad region took the most lives. The worst attack involved a group of prisoners who were being transported north of the capital. Another 64 people were wounded.
Parliament has approved Fouad Massoum, the Kurdish candidate, for president of Iraq. It is a mostly ceremonial position, but his selection means that the parliament can move forward with the difficult selection of a new prime minister.
The Islamic State has chased out more groups than just Christians from northern Iraq. Yazidis, Shabaks and Turkmen are among those who have fled to Kurdistan. From there, many Shi’ites are being shuttled south to "Shi’istan." The government is paying for them to fly, as the roads are too dangerous. Other minorities include the Bahais, Kakais, Sabian Mandaeans, and Faili Kurds.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani today. Ban also with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Militants blew up two shrines in Mosul. The destruction of the Mosque of the Prophet Younis destroyed several homes nearby. Younis is known in the West as Jonah, who was swallowed by a whale in the Biblical account. The mosque was built on an 8th century archaeological site said to be Younis’ burial site. The tomb had reportedly been violated earlier in the month. That and the nearby Imam Aoun Bin al-Hassan mosque were destroyed because, according to militants, they had become places of apostasy. No one was hurt.
A spokesman for the Islamic Party condemned the killing of worshippers by Shi’ite militia groups in Basra.
Two suicide bombers blew themselves up after a roadside bomb halted a convoy transporting Sunni prisoners. The blasts, which took place in Taji but were heard as far away as Baghdad, killed 61 people and wounded 19 more. Nine of the fatalities were security personnel from the al-Hut jail. The prisoners were being moved because officials feared that nearby shelling would provide an opportunity for a jailbreak.
In Baghdad, an evening bombing in Karrada killed 21 people and wounded 33 more who were preparing to enjoy iftar meals.
Airstrikes in Mosul killed five people and wounded three more, including children.
One Peshmerga member was killed and six more were wounded as they cleared Jalawla of militants. However, the militants returned later and reclaimed lost territory.
A blast wounded three people in Mahmoudiya.
In Jurf al-Sakhar, a roadside bomb killed a brigadier general and two soldiers.
The bodies of two policemen were found in Shirqat.
In Baquba, 22 militants were killed.
Fifteen militants were killed in the al-Shohani region.
Security forces killed 15 militants in the Hamrin Mountains.