Sunnis Charge Interior Ministry In

Sunnis Charge Interior Ministry in Killings
2000 Sunnis Protest
More Corpses Found

Al-Zaman/ AFP: The Iraqi Islamic Party accused elements in the Iraqi ministry of the interior on Monday of having kidnapped 36 citizens from Hurriyah Township in Baghdad and then throwing them in the Tigris after they were bound and shot in the head. The party called on the United Nations, the Arab League and human rights organizations to intervene immediately to protect innocents “in this wounded land.” The IIP charges are incendiary and will inflame feelings between Sunnis and Shiites. (The Ministry of Interior is controlled by the Shiite Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq [SCIRI]). The charges echo similar ones made weeks ago by the hard line Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars against the Badr Corps, the paramilitary of SCIRI. That crisis only passed when Muqtada al-Sadr mediated between the two.

2,000 Sunni protesters came out against the Constitution in Tikrit on Monday. On more than one occasion Sunni protesters in recent weeks have chanted their devotion to Saddam Hussein, a step that is probably unwise, but which underlines their rejection of the new, American-installed government.

Iran on the other hand is pleased as punch with the new constitution. Its spokesman hoped for its passage in the October 15 referendum and the formation of a new government in December. In other words, on this issue the Iranians sound eerily like the Bush administration. (The constitution was shepherded through by Grand Ayatollah Sistani, whom the Iranians consider one of their club, despite the friction in the relationship.) Despite a poorly sourced English-language report from an Iraqi newspaper, it is certain that Sistani strongly supports the new constitution, which says that the parliament may pass no civil legislation that contravenes Islamic law.

The police announced Monday that guerrillas had executed 15 Iraqis who were traveling from Samarra to Ramadi. They also found 13 bodies in Fallujah, Saqlawiyah and Karamah in Western Iraq. The US military announced that they had detained 17 persons in sweeps in the troubled northern city of Mosul. There was fierce fighting in one quarter of Mosul on Monday.

Another four were arrested near the largely Sunni Turkmen city of Tel Afar. Tel Afar is now witnessing the most vigorous uprising against the Americans in a year.

Reuters reports further violence on Monday.

“It is to laugh, it is to weep Department“: The Iraqi parliament attempted to legislate sanctions against perpetually absent members of parliament on Monday. But they could not legislate on the issue because there were too many absentees.

Apparently the session on Sunday where the drafting committee presented the new constitution to the parliament was only sparsely attended.