Muqtada All Factions Must Participate

Muqtada: All Factions Must Participate in Constitution-Making

The Herald Sun reports that late on Friday, ‘ “A suicide bomber blew up his vehicle near a police patrol, killing seven people, including three policemen and wounding 24 civilians,” Lieutenant Mahmud al-Azzawi said. ‘

Guerrillas assassinated a major Sunni Arab tribal leader, Shaikh Sabhan Khalaf al-Juburi (al-Jibouri), 52, on Friday in Kirkuk, according to AP. Al-Juburi, though he was a Sunni Arab, had good relations with the Kurds, unlike many Sunni Arabs in the northern, disputed oil city of Kirkuk.

Al-Hayat: In Baghdad, the Sunni cleric Shaikh Mahmud al-Sumayd`i, member of the Association of Muslim Scholars, stressed that Iraqis should give their loyalty to the country, not to their sect.

In Najaf, Sadr al-Din al-Qubanji of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) said in his Friday prayers sermon that the same (Sunni) groups that had blown up Shiite mosques and Christian churches and Shiite crowds was now making wild accusations against the Badr Corps, the paramilitary of SCIRI. Such false accusations, he said, were one new technique of terrorism. The other new form of terrorism that he saw had occurred recently in the northern city of Telafar, where individuals were butchered by Sunni jihadis for having identification on them showing that they were Shiites. Telafar, a city of 200,000 in the north not far from the Syrian border, is largely Turkmen, and most of its Turkmen are Shiites.

Al-Qubanji was essentially accusing the Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars of being in league with terrorists, and branding its leader, Hareth al-Dhari, a terrorist.


Attacks continued in several Iraq cities.

Muqtada al-Sadr called Friday for the participation of all Iraqis in the drafting of a constitution, and asked that no faction be excluded. His aide, Shaikh Hazim al-A`raji, read out Muqtada’s sermon at the Kufa mosque: “We want the permanent constitution to be drafted in a way that guarantees justice to all sections of the people , so that no segment is wronged . . . We demand that all be included in the writing of the constitution.” Earlier Muqtada had been quoted as saying that his group would not participate in the drafting of the new constitution as long as there was a US military occupation, and that anyway the Koran was his constitution.

Oil Minister Ibrahim Bahru’l-Ulum said that the constitution drafting committee would meet within the next 24 hours. He spoke after he had met with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. (The Bahru’l-`Ulum family is traditionally a clerical one with close ties to the grand ayatollahs in Najaf). Informed sources said that the Sunni representation on the 55-person committee in parliament would be raised beyond the present 2 delegates.

Armed guerrillas fled the city of Telafar in the north after they had been surrounded by Iraqi police and the noose was tightening. They scattered in nearby villages.

Iraq said it needed $10 billion immediately from donor nations in the international community for urgent reconstruction projects and fighting unemployment.

Three Iraqi policemen were killed Friday in Mosul in one incident. In another, a policeman was killed and four were wounded by a roadside bomb that was followed by the spraying of machine gun fire, in Mosul’s Basinjar quarter.

In Dulu’iyyah a truck driver working for the Americans was killed by a roadside bomb.

The corpse of a policeman was discovered in the Qadisiyah quarter of Samarra.

Iraq was forced to halt petroleum exports through the northern Ceyhan pipeline because of sabotage.

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