Wave of Iraq suicide bombings target police
A wave of Iraq suicide bombings and other attacks largely targeted the police on Wednesday, leaving at least 41 Iraqis dead in 7 different provinces. A poll shows that a majority of Iraqis say the US is withdrawing combat troops too soon.
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West of Baghdad, in Ramadi, three people, including two police officers, were killed and 16 wounded in two car bombs. One occurred at a police checkpoint. North of the capital, in the oil city of Kirkuk, attacks killed one and wounded 11 others. Another car bomb in Muqdadiya in Diyala Province killed three people and wounded 18, many of them police, in one of at least five attacks in the province.Skip to next paragraph
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Attacks had been expected to spike during the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims believe God revealed the Koran to the prophet Muhammad. The violence is continuing as Iraq's leading political factions have failed to form a government almost six months after Iraqis went to the polls.
“We are facing a stagnant pond – there is nothing new but continuous meetings,” says Haider al-Mulla, a member of parliament and spokesman for the Al Iraqiya bloc. “The main obstacle remains choosing the prime minister.”
Prime Minister Maliki’s Shiite alliance, which forms the biggest coalition, appears to be in danger of fracturing over Maliki’s insistence that he lead any new government. As prime minister, he sent Iraqi Army troops into Basra and Sadr City to fight Muqtada Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia, and he has alienated other former political allies by making major decisions without consulting them. The Sadrists are one of Maliki’s coalition partners.
The Sadr bloc has indicated it could abandon Maliki’s coalition to align itself with the more secular Iraqiya coalition but Mulla described those talks as ‘vague’ and inconclusive.
Neither Maliki nor Allawi’s political blocs won enough seats in the election to form a majority in parliament.
“The outcome of the election is complicated because there was no clear winner,” says Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, who belongs to the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Massoud Barzani. “The Iraqi leadership is not accustomed to a culture of compromise.”
Laith Hammoudi and Mohammad Dulaimi contributed to this report.