Iraqi forces deployed 5,000 additional security personnel to thwart attacks
against Arbaeen pilgrims on their way to the holy city of Karbala. Over 60 have
been killed in three successive days of attacks. Today, at least eight Iraqis
were killed and another five were wounded in light attacks; however, 40
bodies were found in a mass grave near Baghdad. Meanwhile, the first large-scale
effects of recent provincial elections are coming to light. Also, the cautious
observance of Valentine's Day could
mark a change in attitudes towards Islamic conservatism.
In what may
be the first significant political re-alignment following the provincial elections,
Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr reached
out to political rival Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in hopes of forming
a strong coalition. The two had been allies until 2007, when Sadr accused Maliki
of not being firm enough with the United States. Since then, Maliki formed friendly
alliances with the Kurds and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (ISCI) but was
also accused of targeting Sadr's followers for harassment. Now, the Kurds and
ISCI say that Maliki has become two powerful. The ISCI would like to follow the
Kurds in forming their own autonomous region across the south.
found a mass grave in al-Midaan village, just outside Baghdad. About 40
bodies were in the grave. Experts estimated the grave to date back to 2006
when sectarian was at its height.
In Mosul, a roadside bomb killed
two people and wounded four others, including an Iraqi soldier. An Iraqi
soldier was wounded in a separate bombing. Two al-Qaeda suspects were detained.
Also, a weapons cache was confiscated.
Three bodies were found
inside a vehicle in Aziziya.
bodies were discovered near Samarra. The men bore gunshot wounds.
A woman's body was found north
of Arbil. She was shot to death.
In Baghdad, 20 suspects
were captured, including three
Seven suspects were detained in Basra. One kidnapped child
were captured in Mandali.
A suspected al-Qaeda leader was arrested
has been offered for information on a safe house used by a female suicide
bomber who killed or injured over 100 people yesterday in Mussayab. Police
another suicide bomber today.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis