Assailants killed Sadrist parliamentarian Salih al-`Ukayli with a roadside bomb near Sadr City in East Baghdad. Al-`Ukayli has been a supporter of civil politics, expressing happiness that the Mahdi Army has stood down.
Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that members of the Sadr Movement blamed the United States and “Iraqi quarters” for the assassination, saying that it was intended to send a message to opponents of the security agreement being negotiated between the al-Maliki government and the Bush administration. (The Sadrists oppose any such agreement unless it preserves Iraqi sovereignty and sets a short timetable for US withdrawal).
Al-Hayat also reports that Ninevah governor Durayd Kashmula is critical of the al-Maliki government for starting a security sweep of Mosul but not following through.
Guerrillas attempting to destabilize the Iraqi government are increasingly resorting to assassination in order to attain their goals.
The cholera outbreak in Babil Province is a product of official corruption. Old chlorine-based bleach past its expiry date was purchased from Iran. Other provinces declined to use it. But Badr Organization officials in Babil allowed its use to go forward, sickening hundreds. The al-Maliki government is treating the matter as a corruption case. The scandal may help his beleaguered Da’wa Party, which he has been attempting to promote as a mass political party in hopes it can displace the Badr Organization and the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq
The Chaldean bishop in Kirkuk warned Thursday that some groups are attempting to ethnically cleanse Iraq’s Christians.
“The National Security Agency routinely listened in on the intimate and innocent phone calls of Americans in Iraq, including government personnel, journalists and aid workers, as they called back into the United States, according to two former NSA operators who spoke to ABC News.”
McClatchy reports political violence in Iraq on Thursday:
– Around 8 am a roadside bomb targeted a traffic police patrol in Mudhafar intersection in Sadr city. Four people were injured including two traffic policemen.
– Around 10:10 am a parked motor bike bomb targeted Salih Al-Ughalii convoy (a parliament member of the Sadr bloc) in Habibiyah neighborhood. Two guards were killed and four were injured including the parliament member who was seriously injured and then he died in hospital.
– Around 4 pm an adhesive bomb detonated under a civilian car in Mansour neighborhood. The driver was killed in that incident.
– Police found 2 dead bodies in Baghdad neighborhoods today: one was in Sleikh in Risafa bank (north Baghdad) and one was in Tobchi in Karkh bank (west Baghdad).
– Around 7:30 am a roadside bomb targeted a mini bus in Udhaim town (about 31 miles of Baquba). Four people of one family were killed (the father, the mother, the son and the little daughter) and five other women were wounded. The man who was killed was a Sahwa member.
– A roadside bomb detonated inside a restaurant in Tal Afar (west of Mosul). Two people were killed (including a policeman) and three others were wounded.
– A roadside bomb targeted a police patrol in Mosul city. One policeman was killed.
– An adhesive bomb stuck to a civilian car detonated in Al-Hurr town (about 10 miles north of Karbala) around 10 am. The driver of the car was killed who was an employee in the maintenance department of the Karbala council.
– A suicide bomber targeted the battalion emergency headquarter for Al-Subtayeen brigade in Habaniya area ( 13 miles west of Falluja). Three policemen were killed and eight others were wounded.
– Gunmen killed an intelligence member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) with a civilian who was with him in Aghjlar town( east of Kirkuk) on Wednesday night.
– Three mortars hit the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) headquarters in Kirkuk city on Wednesday night. Two women were wounded.
– Police found a dead body for a Sahwa member in Zab town (west of Kirkuk).’