At least 374 people were killed today, mostly militants. Another 78 were wounded. The numbers may be higher, considering that few reports of security personnel deaths are reported by the government. Also, it appears that yesterday’s kidnapping of the Baghdad’s council’s chairman was perpetrated by militiamen. It is unknown whose orders they were following.
Some residents of Mosul say that life under the Islamic State became easier than it was under Baghdad, at first. Now, it is becoming clearer that the hardships have merely shifted to new areas of everyday existence. Mosul’s Christians were perhaps only the first group to realize this. Only today, militants destroyed a 14th century mosque and shrine dedicated to the Prophet Jirjis. Some residents have started forming their own armed groups in retaliation. Nine militants were killed, so far.
Underscoring what it is to be Sunni under Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government, the chairman of Baghdad’s provincial council was kidnapped yesterday, along with four bodyguards. The bodyguards said they were beaten by Shi’ite militiamen. The militiamen, who ostensibly are now Iraq’s main fighting force, were trying to force confessions from the men. In the past, sometimes such forced confessions resulted in the deaths of bodyguards working for other prominent Sunnis.
Only an intervention by Sheikh Qais al-Khazali, the leader of Asa’b Ahl al-Haq, gained the men their freedom. The chairman, Riyadh al-Adhadh, was careful not to implicate actual militiamen as the men behind the kidnapping, but many believe that indeed was the case. Adhadh was not injured.
Six militants were killed during fighting in Muqdadiya, but then their corpses were hung on display in different parts of Baquba. They belonged to Asa’b Ahl al-Haq, a Shi’ite militia. Two more militants were killed and two others were wounded.
A family of six was beheaded in Taji.
Two militants and one policeman were killed in a clash in nearby Balour; at least three more were wounded.
In Tuz Khormato, a bomb killed two women and wounded four others.
Two civilians were killed in a Buhriz car bombing.
A car bomb near Baquba left nine wounded, including two civilians.
Five civilians were wounded in a blast in Hawija.
Three policemen were killed and four were wounded in a failed attempt to storm a police station in Jurf al-Sakhar.
A car bomb in Diyala province killed four Peshmerga members and wounded eight others, including civilians.
Security forces killed 200 militants in Daquq.
Fifty militants were killed in the Hamrin region.
In Duluiya, 34 militants were killed. Security forces killed 23 militants in Saqlawiya.
Security forces killed 15 militants and wounded 16 more in Amiriyat al-Falluja.
In Salah ad Din province, a militant leader and11 aides were killed. At least nine more were killed and another 10 were wounded.
Clashes in the Adhaim area left nine militants dead.
Six militants were killed, including their leader, in Garma.
An army base near Falluja was shelled, but the number of casualties was not reported. Air strikes killed an unknown number of militants.
In Mosul, air strikes targeted militants. Two prominent militant leaders were killed.