Car Bomb Kills 22
Clashes in Samawah
Parliament vote on Oil Bill Murky
Al-Zaman reports in Arabic that parliament is scheduled to debate the draft petroleum bill on Saturday. It says that the Sadr Movement, loyal to fundamentalist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, is rumored to be ending its boycott of parliament. The absence of those 32 MPs has helped prevent parliament from reaching a quorum in the past few days. The Sadrist MPs, however, would return die-hard opposed to the petroleum bill, which they consider a give-away to American Big Oil.
The Sunni Arab Iraqi Accord Front is also said to be contemplating an end to its boycott of parliament, though only if deposed speaker of the house, Mahmud al-Mashhadani, is reinstated (unlikely).
A crisis broke out within the Sunni fundamentalist coalition, the Iraqi Accord Front (44 seats in parliament) when a leader of one of its 3 major party components, Khalaf al-Ulyan of the National Dialogue Council, refused to accept Iyad al-Samarra’i as the over-all leader of the IAF, replacing the fiery Adnan al-Dulaimi.
Guerrillas deployed a huge car bomb in a village near the northern Kurdish city of Tuz Khurmato Saturday morning, killing at least 17 and wounded 22.
6 US troops have been killed in Iraq in the past two days.
McClatchy reports political violence in Iraq for Friday.
The LAT reports on clashes between the Mahdi Army of Muqtada al-Sadr and police in the otherwise sleepy southern city of Samawah, capital of Muthanna Province. The fighting left two policemen dead and 17 other persons wounded. The most recent conflict came when local authorities (themselves typically from the rival Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council) attempted to stop the Sadrists from opening a political office in a nearby town.