Updated at 5:30 p.m. EST, Jan. 20, 2009
Tensions between Kurdish
authorities and the central government increased dramatically today when the Kurd
leader openly spoke against tribal councils. Elsewhere, at least five Iraqis
were killed and 21 more were wounded in violent attacks. One
U.S. soldier died in a non-combat incident as well. Meanwhile, Shi'ite
cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani urged
Iraqis to vote in upcoming elections even if they were disappointed by previous
results. Also, a lawyer working for show-throwing journalist, Muntadhar al-Zeidi,
his client is seeking political asylum in Switzerland, but one of Zeidi's brother's
In what could be a precursor to an armed conflict between Kurdistan
and the central Iraqi government, Kurdish President Massoud Barzani condemned
Maliki-backed tribal councils in Kurdistan and threatened war should Arabs join
such councils in neighboring provinces. Relations between the two governments
have eroded in recent months over disputes involving oil and territory. Although
the Kurdish provinces remain under the authority of Baghdad, they mostly operate
under their own laws and government. One MP, however, claimed
that Kurdish militiamen are forcibly influencing voters in Ninewa province. The
governor of the province made light of the accusation.
a bomb killed
an off-duty police officer and wounded eight other people in the Zaafaraniya
district. In Amil, a roadside bomb wounded
five people. Also, two Iraqi
soldiers were wounded during security operations that also netted 22 suspects.
In Mosul, a roadside bomb targeting an army patrol wounded
four civilians instead. Two
soldiers were wounded in a separate blast. Police killed
a gunman during a firefight. Gunmen killed
a man in a bakery. Also a bomb and a rocket were defused
in separate incidents.
A roadside bomb killed
two people in Ishaqi.
A U.S. military vehicle was destroyed
in a bomb blast near Duluiya.
38 cannonballs near Kut.
Two gunmen were arrested
Sixteen al-Qaeda suspects were arrested
in Diyala province.
Police found explosives buried
A "special groups" leader was arrested in
Suwayra. "Special groups" refers to militia suspected of receiving aid
The Babel Police Acadamy graduated
Karbala police will deploy about 15,000 personnel
across the province ahead of provincial elections. Wassit province has
also implemented its own security plan.
A resident of Camp Ashraf
reportedly confessed that he
was ordered by the People’s Mujahedin of Iran to undertake a suicide bombing.
Iraqi authorities wish the refugee group would leave Iraq, but the group cannot
return to Iran for fear of torture and execution. Although the PMOI is considered
a terrorist organization, the group turned over their weapons and has observed
a cease-fire since the 2003 U.S. invasion.
Compiled by Margaret