In the wake of the disputed Iraq election, the two largest Shiite parties announced they are creating an alliance to lead the next government that leaves them just 4 votes shy of a parliamentary majority.
Ahead of the March 7 Iraq election, tensions between Arabs and Kurds are soaring after an incident involving Kurdish troops and forces loyal to the Arab governor of Ninevah. Kurdish President Massoud Barzani told the Monitor that a warrant will soon be issued for the governor's arrest on a kidnapping charge.
At least 49 people were killed and 230 wounded in the latest attack since US combat troops pulled back from Iraqi cities on June 30.
The region, which has increasingly been at odds with Baghdad, holds elections Saturday for a new regional government.
The al-Hadba Party emerged from Saturday's vote as a serious challenge to the status quo in Iraq.