Updated at 4:47 p.m. EDT, Mar. 12, 2009
At least six Iraqis were killed and nine more were wounded during light
violence. Meanwhile, journalist shoe-thrower, Muntazer al-Zaidi, received
three years for attempting to assault a foreign leader. Also, Prime Minister
Nouri al-Maliki gave his opinions on the state of Iraqi security, as the Kurdish
president expressed unusual solidarity with the Iraqi leader.
Muntazer al-Zaidi, who became a hero to many Iraqis for
throwing his shoe at then-U.S. President George Bush, was given three
years in jail for his political statement. Members of his family began to
wail and a sister shouted, “down with Maliki, the agent of the Americans,” when
they heard the outcome. Al-Zaidi plead “not guilty,” believing his statement
was a “natural reaction for the crimes committed against the Iraqi people.”
A day after his vice president questioned Iraq’s ability to
maintain security after combat troops leave next year, Prime Minister Nouri
he had complete faith in Iraqi troops. The comments came after a pair of
significant bombings this week. Last month, U.S. President Barack Obama
presented a withdrawal plan that would eliminate most U.S. combat troops by the
end of August 2010. A security agreement that was already in place will force
the remaining troops out by the end of 2011. The prime minister also dismissed
recent bombings as a “lapse to a good period of calm in Iraq.” While on a trip
to Australia, the prime minister also assured
Arab ambassadors that Iraq is stable.
Kurdish President Masoud Barzani said
expressed solidarity with the central government, but warned that some problems
still need to be addressed. In the recent past, Barzani has had some strong
words for Prime Minister Maliki, but this softening might be to facilitate the
return of Kirkuk to Kurdish hands.
By April 1, control
of 90,000 Awakening Council (Sahwa) members will be completely in Iraqi
hands. The group was financially backed by the U.S. and contributed greatly to
increases in security over the last year.
In Baghdad, two
people were shot dead on Sadoun Street. A bomb targeting a convoy
carrying a police official through al-Nahda wounded five people, including
two civilians. Another bomb targeted a civil defense brigadier-general in Yarmouk;
and two others were wounded. Also, the interior ministry captured the gunmen believed involved
with the murder of a human rights advocate.
In Mosul, a roadside bomb killed
a policeman and wounded a second in a Dorat Baghdad. In al-Nabi
Yunus, gunmen killed a policeman.
belonging to a man who had been shot in the head was discovered.
Sunni official was assassinated in Basra.
A girl was freed
and her captors arrested in Amara.
47 detainees in Ninewa province. The group had been in U.S. detention
until about a month ago when they were handed over to the Iraqis. The Iraqis
then determined the men were not wanted for any crimes.
Twenty suspects were arrested in Missan
an armed groups leader in Buhriz.
In Mualameen, police defused an improvised explosive
Two men suspected of belonging to an armed cult were detained in Makhmour.
Authorities in Sinjar imposed a curfew while security
forces look for gunmen. Sinjar is home to the Yazidi people, who have often
been targeted for sectarian violence.
An arms cache found in Suwayra
contained machine guns, rockets, C4 explosives and a thermal rocket.
The former editor of a Karbala newspaper turned
himself in over complaints filed against an editorial he published. He was
Compiled by Margaret Griffis