Violence is increasing amid continued election squabbling more than two months after the Iraq election, with a suicide bombing and series of coordinated attacks Monday across the Baghdad region killing at least 30.
Iraqi officials today began a manual recount of 20 percent of the Iraq election ballots cast in the March 7 parliamentary race. But Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki tried also to get an audit – a comparison of every ballot and every voter's signature.
As the Iraq election process is drawn out by a recount, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki faces a fresh challenge over allegations of torture on his watch. He dismissed an HRW report, saying detainees bruised themselves to fake torture evidence.
At a remote Iraq-Iran border post, US forces watch Iranians watch them. Iran's spy drones circle overhead. But there are plans to make this border crossing a new gateway for tourism between the two countries.
US Ambassador Christopher Hill today expressed concern that nearly two months after the Iraq election, a government has not been formed. Complicating the drawn-out process, Iraqi officials today disqualified two winning candidates.
Prime Minister Maliki and others are maneuvering for influence in the wake of the March 7 vote, results of which are being delayed by a recount and investigation of other complaints. Inability to form an effective new Iraq government could further divide the country.
After the killing this week of the two top leaders of Al Qaeda in Iraq, officials in Baghdad said more important gains have recently been made in dismantling the group's networks.
US and Iraqi officials say DNA evidence proves they killed Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the key link between Al Qaeda internationally and its offshoot in Iraq, and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the senior Iraqi member of the group. But one analyst is skeptical.
An Iraqi court has ordered a manual recount of more than 20 percent of the ballots cast in the Iraq election. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki hopes the results take the lead away from challenger Iyad Allawi.
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi discusses prospects for resolving the political impasse in Iraq and the threat of a new sectarian conflict.