Death and Death Threats in Iraq
Some 15 Iraqis were killed in various violent incidents on Thursday, and two Lebanese businessmen were kidnapped.
“Three border policemen were gunned down in Baquba, north of Baghdad, while on leave, and the son of local police chief was kidnapped. In the capital, an Iraqi army officer was killed while strolling in the street. Four civilians were killed in an ambush at Shorgat, north of the capital, while further north two civilians were killed and four hurt when a bomb exploded near their car as it followed a national guard convoy. Two more Iraqis died and four were wounded when they tried to break through a national guard roadblock in Syniya, a woman was killed and three people wounded by a roadside bomb on the road between Baghdad and Balad and, in Samarra, a national guard was died and four others were wounded in an ambush.”
Ansar al-Sunna and 2 other guerrilla groups in Iraq have threatened to kill anyone participating in what they termed “the farce” of Iraqi elections.
CNN is reporting that all 700 voter registration workers in Mosul have resigned after death threats. The guerrillas are alleging that the secular process of American-sponsored elections will result in un-Islamic laws. I don’t see how Mosul can participate in the election under these conditions. It has a population of about a million.
The fighting in Mosul that began Wednesday resulted in the death of one US soldier and 25 guerrillas, after guerrillas blew up a truck bomb near a US facility in a coordinated attack.
Radio Sawa Iraq did an interview with Iyad Allawi on Monday in which the dispute between Allawi and Iraqi Vice-President Ibrahim Jaafari over Syria was highlighted. Allawi has accused Syria of harboring Baath guerrillas and allowing infiltration of Iraq. Jaafari has expressed extreme skepticism about these charges. The dispute between the two is in part ideological. Jaafari is a leader of the al-Dawa Party, which has good relations with Iran, which is in turn allied with Syria. Allawi is an essentially American appointee with longstanding ties to the CIA.
KarbalaNews.net reports that Adnan Pachachi, head of the Independent Democratic Bloc, called again on Thursday for a postponement of the January 30 elections. He, Ghazi al-Yawar and Nasir Chadirchi are among the few Sunni Arab politicians with name recognition still in the race.
Candidate name recognition doesn’t appear very important, however. For security reasons, the actual names of most candidates on the 78 party or multiparty lists have so far not been released. This odd situation, in which the candidates are not known amonth before the election, attests to how dire the political and security situation in Iraq really is.