Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Military Space News .




IRAQ WARS
Hundreds back Maliki amid calls for Iraq PM to quit
by Staff Writers
Baghdad (AFP) Jan 12, 2013


Three Iraq soldiers killed in checkpoint attack
Samarra, Iraq (AFP) Jan 13, 2013 - An attack by militants on an Iraqi army checkpoint north of Baghdad on Sunday left three soldiers dead, security and medical officials said.

Insurgents threw hand grenades at the checkpoint, which lies east of Samarra, 110 kilometres (70 miles) north of Baghdad, before opening fire with machineguns, an army lieutenant colonel and a medic at the city's hospital said. Both spoke on condition of anonymity.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Sunni militants including Al-Qaeda's front group in Iraq often seek to target security forces and officials to destabilise the government and push the country back towards the communal bloodshed that engulfed it from 2005 to 2008.

Violence is down sharply from its peak in those years, but attacks remain common, especially in Salaheddin province, which surrounds Samarra.

The province saw the second-highest per capita rate of civilian deaths nationwide in 2012, according to monitoring group Iraq Body Count.

Iraq finance minister 'escapes assassination'
Baghdad (AFP) Jan 13, 2013 - Iraq's finance minister, who has been locked in dispute with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, escaped an apparent assassination attempt on Sunday when his convoy was struck by a roadside bomb.

Rafa al-Essawi's convoy had been travelling between the towns of Fallujah and Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad, when the bomb went off at around 7:00 pm (1600 GMT), two security officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

No one in Essawi's entourage was harmed but some of the vehicles were damaged, the officials said.

The blast comes amid a political crisis. Weeks of anti-government demonstrations in Sunni Arab majority areas have hardened opposition against the Shiite premier.

Maliki is at loggerheads with his erstwhile government partners in the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc over its accusations of authoritarianism and sectarianism in the run-up to key provincial polls.

The demonstrations in Sunni areas have decried alleged misuse of anti-terror laws to hold members of the minority community, and claim Sunnis are being targeted by the Shiite-led authorities.

The premier has countered with a threat to order security forces to disperse the protests, which were sparked by the December 20 arrest of at least nine of Essawi's guards.

Essawi is a leading member of the Iraqiya bloc, which, while a member of Maliki's unity government, has called for him to quit.

Powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose movement counts 40 members of parliament and five ministers among its ranks, has also publicly opposed Maliki.

The protests come with barely three months to go before provincial elections, a key barometer of support for Maliki and his opponents ahead of a general election next year.

Hundreds of demonstrators rallied in central Baghdad on Saturday to back Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, as the latest in weeks of anti-government rallies in Sunni areas of Iraq called for him to quit.

The demonstrations have worsened a political crisis that pits Maliki against his erstwhile government partners, with the premier facing accusations of authoritarianism and sectarianism ahead of key provincial polls.

At Tahrir Square in the heart of the capital, demonstrators held up posters of the prime minister alongside banners that read, "I am Iraqi, I love Maliki," and "We strongly support Nuri al-Maliki."

Many shouted in unison: "All the people support Nuri al-Maliki".

In a sign of increasing sectarian rhetoric at the rallies, many demonstrators held up banners describing themselves as "followers of Hussein," a revered figure in Shiite Islam. A speaker led the crowd in chants of "Labeika Ya Hussein," or "We will follow you, Hussein".

Banners also blamed parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, a Sunni Arab opponent of Maliki, for militant attacks.

Demonstrators said the premier should resist demands for a wide-ranging prisoner amnesty and reform of anti-terror laws, both of which are key demands of anti-government protesters.

"In the names of all the martyrs, the victims, the widows, we call on the government not to cancel Article 4," said one protester, a 67-year-old who gave his name as Abu Hussam, referring to a widely cited article of Iraq's anti-terror law.

Abu Hussam said his son was killed by gunfire in Baghdad in 2006.

"He was 20, I was about to get him married. For six years, I have not slept, I hope one night I can sleep."

Dozens of people also took part in a pro-government rally in the southern port city of Basra, an AFP journalist said.

Meanwhile, anti-government rallies blocked a key highway linking Baghdad to Jordan and Syria for a third week. Protests were also held in Samarra, Tikrit, Baiji and Mosul, all Sunni-majority areas north of the capital.

The demonstrations have decried alleged misuse of anti-terror laws to wrongfully hold members of their community, and claim they are being targeted by the Shiite-led authorities.

In the longest-running of the protests, in western Anbar province, tribal leaders called for Maliki to resign.

"We want Maliki to fall, because he has insulted our dignity many times," said Ali al-Hatem, a leader of the powerful Dulaim tribe. "We will not leave until you find a replacement for Maliki. Then we can negotiate."

In Samarra, imam Abdulrahman al-Samarraie told AFP: "Maliki should leave. We gave him many chances but he did not do anything. He made many promises... but he did not fulfil those promises. He should leave."

The premier has threatened to direct security forces to intervene in the protests, which were sparked by the December 20 arrest of at least nine guards of Sunni Finance Minister Rafa al-Essawi.

Essawi is a leading member of the secular Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc that, while a member of Maliki's unity government, has called for him to quit.

Powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose movement counts 40 MPs and five ministers among its ranks, has also publicly opposed Maliki.

Saturday's protests come with barely three months to go before provincial elections in April, a key barometer of support for Maliki and his opponents ahead of national polls next year.

.


Related Links
Iraq: The first technology war of the 21st century






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





IRAQ WARS
Thousands of Iraq Sunnis in angry anti-Maliki demos
Baghdad (AFP) Jan 11, 2013
Thousands of Sunni Muslims took to the streets of Baghdad and other parts of Iraq on Friday to decry the alleged targeting of their minority, in rallies hardening opposition to the country's Shiite leader. The protests have worsened a political crisis, pitting Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki against his erstwhile government partners, with the premier facing accusations of authoritarianism and ... read more


IRAQ WARS
Lockheed Martin Receives Contract for Production of PAC-3 Missiles

Turkey Patriot missiles operational by Feb: NATO

Russia to add 3 new anti-missile radars

Dutch Patriot missiles head for Turkey's Syria border

IRAQ WARS
Short-range ballistic missile again fired in Syria: NATO

Iran develops new missile launcher

Thatcher 'warned France to cut off Exocets in Falklands war'

Raytheon awarded $254.6 million for Tomahawk missile

IRAQ WARS
Northrop Grumman, Cassidian Fly First Sensor-Equipped Euro Hawk

TerraLuma Selects Headwall's Micro Hyperspec for UAV Applications

Elbit Systems to Supply Long-Range Observation Systems to the Israeli Ministry of Defense

US Army Awards AeroVironment Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Contract

IRAQ WARS
TS Receives Funding For SNAP Deployable Satellite Systems Equipment

MUOS Waveform Will Improve Secure Communications Capabilities

DARPA selects SwRI's K-band space crosslink radio for flight development as part of System F6 Program

BAE pulls out of Australian comms tender

IRAQ WARS
Elbit Systems to Supply the Israeli Ministry of Defense with Cardom Artillery Systems

British military drops US pistol for Austrian gun

Raytheon's Quick Kill System Defeats Lethal Armor-Piercing RPGs

SAIC Awarded Contract By U.S. Army Environmental Command

IRAQ WARS
Bulgaria cancels privatisation of defence group VMZ

US military ordered to prepare for fiscal 'perfect storm'

Ex-Russia defence chief faces graft charges

Dassault, India tussle over supply chains

IRAQ WARS
Powell defends Hagel as US defense chief pick

Japan boosts defence of disputed islands

Jackie Chan calls US 'most corrupt' country in the world

China launches fighters amid Japan dispute: state media

IRAQ WARS
New nanotech fiber: Robust handling, shocking performance

Southampton scientist develops strongest, lightest glass nanofibres in the world

Nanoparticles reach new peaks

Oh, Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement