65 Killed, including at a Shiite Mosque
Pachachi calls Parliament
A car bomb killed 30 and wounded 70 near a Shiite mosque in Huwaidir, near Baquba northeast of Baghdad (-KarbalaNews.net). Shiite tempers are at the boiling point. Guerrillas set off three car bombs in Baghdad, killing 8, and other violence, including near Mosul, killed 14. In a continuing national horror show, 11 bodies, some beheaded, showed up in the streets. Guerrillas killed another 3 US troops. I count 65 persons announced dead in all, after collating various wire service reports.
Adnan Pachachi will call parliament into session in Iraq next week in an attempt to break the logjam in the formation of a new government in Iraq. The Post also reports on Wednesday’s violence:
An Interior Ministry spokesman said Iraqi police had discovered the bodies of 11 people who had been beheaded and shot in areas in and near Baghdad. Three roadside and car bomb explosions also killed at least eight people in the capital, police Maj. Mohammed Sultan said, and police officials said 14 people were killed in other bombings and shootings around the country. Three U.S. soldiers were killed Wednesday in two roadside bomb attacks south and east of Baghdad . . .
Al-Zaman reports [Ar.] that Abdul Aziz al-Hakim of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq and Ibrahim Jaafari of the Dawa Party met for an hour on Wednesday but failed to reach an agreement about the candidate for prime minister that their United Iraqi Alliance would put forward. Al-Hakim is said to have clung to the idea of convincing Jaafari to step down in favor of SCIRI candidate Adil Abdul Mahdi. The paper says that supporters of Jaafari exercised pressure and used their influence to keep his candidacy alive. The United Iraqi Alliance postponed a formal meeting on the issue until Thursday.
Meanwhile, Iyad al-Samarra’i of the Sunni National Accord Front said Wednesday that the post of president should go to a Sunni Arab. The current incumbent, Jalal Talabani, is a Kurd. Kurdish MP Mahmoud Osman, who nominated Talabani, said that the Kurds are sticking to their candidate and would be happy to have parliament vote to decide which figure becomes president. He admitted that some Sunni Arabs objected to the Kurds having both the presidency and the post of foreign minister.
Bayan Jabr, Iraqi Minister of the Interior, admitted on Wednesday that death squads were operating out of private security firms hired to guard Iraqi ministries. He said that the firms were not under Iraqi government control. His ministry has been accused of recruiting Badr Corps militiamen into the special police commandos, and of using them to kill and terrorize Sunni Arabs suspected of supporting the guerrilla insurgency, chages that Bayan denies.
France is expressing support for the idea of a regional confederacy in southern Iraq, a plan championed by Basra provincial council members and by Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq.