Year Four of Iraq Civil War: 51 Killed
AP reports that guerrilla violence in Iraq killed 51 on Friday. In addition to bombings and drive-by shootings, police discovered 25 bodies, killed execution-style, in Kadhimiyah and Binok districts. (Kadhimiyah is largely Shiite). AP adds, “The rising death toll among Iraqis on Friday included five worshippers killed in a bombing outside a Sunni Muslim mosque after Friday prayers. At least 15 were wounded in the blast in Khalis, northeast of Baghdad.”
The bomb blast outside a Sunni mosque is especially disturbing, since it fits a pattern of recent escalation in Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence. This week, over a dozen Shiite pilgrims were killed in Sunni areas of the capital, on their way to and from the holy city of Karbala.
A Danish soldier was killed in the south, and two US troops were killed by guerrillas in Anbar province.
AFP/ Al-Zaman report that the Iraq political blocs in parliament failed in their Friday discussions to agree on the powers and constitutionality of a “national security council.” The mechanism of such a national security council has been used in Pakistan and Turkey to circumscribe the power of elected politicians in parliament. But in both of those countries there is a strong military, unlike Iraq. Why elected members of parliament would agree to such an institution is obscure, and, indeed, they may not in the end.