Maliki Implies Odierno Ouster; Thousands Protest Security Pact

Although Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has approved a draft agreement on US troops in Iraq, it faces severe opposition from many parliamentarians and may not actually be enacted into law. A major stumbling block is immunity for US troops from Iraqi law.

Meanwhile, al-Maliki said Friday that Gen. Ray Odierno may have lost his position as commander of US forces in Iraq because of his charge that Iran is bribing Iraqi parliamentarians to reject the agreement.

Odierno told The Washington Post on Monday that intelligence reports indicated that Iran was bribing Iraqi lawmakers.

Odierno’s remarks provoked a wave of outrage in Iraqi political circles.

Thousands of Iraqi protesters marched against the agreement on Saturday.

McClatchy reports political violence on Friday in Iraq:

‘ Baghdad

A roadside bomb targeted worshipers leaving Seyid Hayder Shiite mosque after Friday prayers in Shaab neighbourhood, northern Baghdad at 1 p.m. killing one civilian, injuring four.

Kirkuk

Qadir Aziz, a guard in a driver training establishment was killed by gunmen in Chamchamal district, to the northeast of Kirkuk city early Friday.

Sulaimaniyah

Iranian artillery bombarded six border villages in Bashder district, northeast Sulaimaniyah (province). The bombardment began at around 9.30 a.m. Friday, and continued until the afternoon. No casualties have been reported.

Three Turkish fighter planes bombed four border villages in Bashder district in northeast Sulaimaniyah other than the ones bombarded by the Iranian artillery. The attack started at around 1 p.m. and continued until 2 p.m. No casualties were reported.

Anbar

An IED detonated while a gunman was planting it in front of the imam of Ali Bin Abi Talib Mosque’s house, in Fallujah at 9.10 p.m. Friday. Sheikh Suleiman Ahmed al-Jumaili stepped outside his door just as the gunman was planting it. Both the gunman and the sheikh were killed.

Diyala

A female suicide bomber was caught in central Baquba Friday morning. Nidhal Abdulwahid was suspected by security forces and stopped for questioning, and when searched was found to be wearing a suicide vest.’