Iraqi Vice Premier Badly Wounded in Attack
Iranians Take British troops Captive
A Salafi Jihadi operative infiltrated the entourage of Iraqi Vice Premier Abdul Salam al-Zawba’i and detonated a belt bomb in his house on Friday, seriously injuring al-Zawba’i and hurting 17 other persons (some reports say it left 6 of his associates dead). Al-Zawba’i has been part of a recruitment effort to get Sunni Arab tribespeople to fight the Salafi Jihadis (fundamentalist radicals now referred to in the US press as “al-Qaeda,” though in fact they have not pledged fealty to Usamah Bin Laden). Al-Sharq al-Awsat reports, however, that the assassin was in fact from al-Zawba’i’s’ tribe.
A vice premier is a high officer of state in Iraq, and this assassination attempt underlines that no one in that country is safe from the ongoing violence.
Iranian Revolutionary Guards took 15 British sailors captive on Friday, claiming that their skiffs had strayed into Iranian waters. There is speculation that the Iranian action is related to Saturday’s expected vote at the United Nations Security Council on imposing sanctions on Iran because it declines to halt its uranium enrichment attempts.
Reuters reports political violence in Iraq on Friday, including the discovery of four bodies in Mosul and a bombing in East Baghdad (Sadr City) that left 7 dead and 20 wounded, according to al-Zaman.