US Soldier Killed Near Mosul; Maliki Gives up on Saudis

An Iraqi guerrilla killed a US soldier with a grenade near Mosul on Friday, bringing the May total for deaths of US military personnel to 22, the highest since September (though only about half the deaths in May were from direct combat).

In Baquba, a roadside bomb killed 6 civilians.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of Iraq says that he is tired of reaching out to the Saudi government and receiving no positive response. Al-Maliki’s Da’wa Party launched protests in Europe and Iraq against Wahhabism (the Saudi state religion) in 2006, and the Saudis blame al-Maliki.

Iraqi parliamentary elections, originally scheduled for December, won’t be held until January 30, 2010, according to AP.

In other news, a spokesman for the Sadr Movement said Friday that Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr, their leader, wanted homosexuality as a practice eradicated, but forbade the vigilante killing of gays. He condemned religious militias that harass gays.

At the same time, al-Zaman writes in Arabic that Fatimah Mahdi al-Taliqani has launched a campaign against temporary marriage, which is allowed in Shiite law.

McClatchy reports political violence in Iraq on Friday:

‘ Nineveh

A fight developed between a group of Ayzidis and checkpoint personnel (Peshmerga, Kurd Forces) in the town of Sinjar, about 74 miles to the northwest of Mosul Thursday. Arrest warrants were issued by Friday morning and a force was sent to detain the Ayzidis. Armed confrontations broke out during the detention and six civilians were injured, three of them are critical including a 13 year old boy and three Ayzidis were detained.

-Two insurgents threw a grenade at an American patrol in Zinjili neighborhood in western Mosul on Friday. One civilian was wounded, Iraqi police said. Also one vehicle was burned. The U.S. military confirmed the incident in a statement saying that one American soldier was killed.

Diyala

Around 9:30 a.m. a booby trapped motorbike detonated near a butcher’s shop owned by Sahwa leader of al Amin and Swamra neighborhoods, Khazaal al Samarrai in central Baquba on Friday. Al Samarrai was killed in the explosion and six others were wounded including four Sahwa members.

Around 1 p.m. a roadside bomb targeted civilians in a bus stop in the town of Khalis, about 9 miles to the north of Baquba at on Friday. One civilian was killed and three others were injured.

Around 1:30 p.m. a magnetic bomb targeted the poet Khalid al Saadi near the court house in Khalis, about 9 miles to the north of Baquba on Friday. The bomb was stuck to his car. All six people in the car including al Saadi were killed.

The house of a displaced Shiite family was blown up in Amin neighborhood, central Baquba at 3 p.m. Friday. The family has just repaired the house that was previously damaged and were about to return to their neighborhood.

Kirkuk

– A roadside bomb targeted the convoy of the 12th division commander of the Iraqi army the major general Abdul Ameer Al-Zaidi at Sufra village in western Kirkuk (about 34 miles west of Kirkuk). A source from the division confirmed the incident saying that several guards were wounded without further details. ‘

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