At least 11 Iraqi were killed and 31 more were wounded, but the most
significant news item coming out of Iraq today was the arrest of dozens of high
ranking officials in what may be a Maliki power grab. No Coalition deaths were
reported. Meanwhile, the shoe-lobber remains in the headlines.
as 35 officials, including four generals, from the Interior and Defense ministries
on suspicion of plotting a coup that would return Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party
to power. The counterterrorism unit in charge of the operation reported
directly to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, allowing the Prime Minister's critics
to claim the arrests had more to do with a grab for power ahead of next month's
elections. Furthermore, most former Ba'ath Party members were Sunnis, but this
week's arrests included Shi'ite Muslims as well.
Earlier this year, critics
blamed Maliki's hunger for power for excesses in security operations in Diyala
and Basra provinces. The Basra operation in particular nearly led to a civil war
between the central government followers of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Hundreds
were killed throughout southern Iraq before an Iran-brokered truce was called.
The operation in Diyala failed to catch many suspects, but was effective in straining
relations with Kurdish officials who fear Maliki's intentions.
of the journalist who threw shoes at U.S. President Bush continues.
The Prime Minister's office said that Muntazer al-Zaidi has apologized for embarrassing
al-Maliki in front of the whole world. His brother, however, suggests that any
apologies had to be made under duress. Meanwhile, the court met without al-Zaidi
present, or his shoes; it was reported
to the court that the shoes have been destroyed and cannot be presented as evidence.
Also, residents of Baghdad continue to demonstrate in support of al-Zaidi and
perhaps are exerting
their opinions more stridently as a result of the incident.
province has formally asked
the central government to delay provincial elections, citing fears that many Kurds
and Christians who have fled the province do not have enough time to return home
before elections. Meanwhile, Albanian troops have formally ended
their mission in Mosul and are preparing to leave Iraq. Mosul remains one
of the most dangerous areas in Iraq where multiple bombings and other incidents
occur on a daily basis.
In international news, British Prime Minister Gordon
calls for an investigation into Britain's role Iraq, while Germany has denied
indirectly supporting the war. In the U.S., a Justice Department report has shown
that FBI agents deployed to Iraq improperly billed the government for hundreds
of thousands of dollars in overtime.
Somewhere in Diyala province,
a roadside bomb killed
two people and wounded 18 others.
A roadside bomb wounded
six civilians in Baquba.
In Mosul, Iraqi soldiers killed
three gunmen during a clash in eastern Mosul. In western Mosul, gunmen killed
a traffic policeman. Also, a shootout left one
policeman wounded and the gunman dead. A cache of TNT was also discovered.
In Baghdad, mortar fire left one
dead and six wounded in Suleikh last night. U.S. forces killed
two civilians in Tarmiyah.
Gunmen stormed the Kirkuk
home of a Kurdish Communist Party leader where she
was killed and beheaded. A party spokesperson believes the 37-year-old mother
of two was targeted for her outspoken views on women's rights. In a separate incident,
six suspects were arrested.
East of Mosul in Baashieqa, a bomb exploded
in front of the Kurdistan Democratic Party offices. No casualties were reported.
Eight suspects were arrested
across northern and central Iraq.
Coalition forces killed
three gunmen and arrested four during an operation northwest of Baghdad.
Committee to Protect Journalists reported
that 11 journalists died in Iraq this year. While that is a sharp drop from previous
years, it still keeps Iraq at the top of the list of dangerous countries for reporters.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis