More than 80 Killed in Iraq Violence
08 June 2007
More than 80 people have been killed in Iraq in a series of insurgent attacks, bombings and sectarian violence. Iraqi police say some 100 gunmen stormed a police chief's home near the city of Baquba late Thursday, killing 14 people and kidnapping three of the chief's children. Meanwhile, near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, a bomb attack on a Shi'ite mosque has killed at least 18 people. VOA's Barry Newhouse reports from northern Iraq.
Police in Diyala province say the band of gunmen stormed the home of Baquba's police chief, killing 11 guards, the chief's wife and two brothers. Colonel Ali al-Jurani told Iraqi media three of his children were also kidnapped in the raid. He was not home at the time of the attack.
Near the oil rich city Kirkuk, police said a suicide bomber and a car bomb detonated at the same time at a Shi'ite mosque for ethnic minority Turkmen Iraqis. The city of Kirkuk has been embroiled in ethnic fighting among Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen.
South of Baghdad, in a town near Basra, bomb attacks on a market killed at least 16 people.
In the Iraqi capital, police reported finding 32 bodies on Friday. In recent weeks Baghdad police throughout the city have been finding bodies bearing signs of torture.
Iraqi media continue to report deepening divisions among several factions of lawmakers in the central government. On Thursday, Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al Sadr, a key supporter of Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki and an outspoken critic of the U.S. presence in Iraq, expressed dissatisfaction with the prime minister's leadership, calling it neglectful and sectarian.
In a speech to local officials in the southern town Kut, Mr. Maliki said the constitution had empowered lawmakers in parliament and weakened the country's top leader and that is a positive development for Iraq.
He says the time is over when Iraq's leaders have all of the rights and the people do not. He says now members of parliament can tell the prime minister if they like something or they don't.
The U.S.-backed Baghdad security operation is designed to give Iraqi lawmakers time to reach political consensus on key economic and security issues. But so far, lawmakers have reported little progress on legislation, including the law governing the country's vast oil reserves. Passing the oil law is viewed by U.S. officials as a key test for the Maliki government.
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