May 17, 2013 |
BAGHDAD - Bombings in Iraq near a Sunni Muslim mosque, a busy shopping street and a funeral procession left at least 70 people dead Friday as the security situation continued to show signs of unraveling. The explosions brought the week's death toll to more than 110. That followed the killing of 712 people in April, which according to the United Nations was the deadliest month in Iraq since June 2008. The bloodshed has increased as the country undergoes its biggest political test since the departure of U.S. troops in late 2011.
May 1, 2013 |
ARSAL, Lebanon - When Mustafa Ezzedine, a Sunni Muslim from this Sunni border town, wanted to buy some furniture, he undertook a clandestine trip into war-torn Syria rather than face harassment, or worse, from Shiite Muslim security officers or townsmen in nearby Lebanese communities. "Although geographically we are in Lebanon, spiritually we are with Syria," said Ezzedine, 66, who was recently freed after being held hostage along with 10 other Sunnis in reprisal for the kidnapping of a Shiite in Arsal.
April 28, 2013 |
BAGHDAD - The Iraqi government ordered 10 predominantly Sunni Muslim satellite television channels to cease broadcasting Sunday, accusing them of encouraging the sectarian unrest that left more than 200 people dead in a week of violence in northern Iraq. The stations included the pan-Arab news channel Al Jazeera and well-known local satellite stations. The move reflected the elevated tensions in the country since fighting erupted last week between Shiite Muslim-led security forces and Sunni Arab protesters, raising fears of a new civil war like the one that erupted from 2005 to 2008, when U.S. troops were still in the country.
April 27, 2013 |
BAGHDAD - Four Iraqi soldiers were shot dead Saturday, the day after Sunni Arab tribes in the restive western province of Anbar announced that they had formed their own army to defend themselves against the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government. The deadly attack came as Sunni gunmen around Iraq clashed with government forces in the aftermath of a government crackdown on Sunni demonstrators Tuesday in northern Iraq. More than 200 people died last week in fighting between Sunnis and Iraqi security forces.
April 25, 2013 |
Gunmen reportedly overtook a town north of Baghdad as battles continued to rage Thursday between Iraqi government forces and Sunni fighters. The violence began Tuesday after security forces stormed a Sunni Muslim protest encampment in Hawija, spurring clashes and revenge attacks that spread throughout Sunni areas. More than 100 people have reportedly lost their lives over the past three days. Protests had simmered for months ahead of the Hawija clashes, as Sunni demonstrators charged that they had been marginalized and mistreated by the Shiite Muslim-dominated government.
April 15, 2013 |
BEIRUT -- A string of bombings in Iraq claimed the lives of more than 30 people Monday in the run-up to provincial elections scheduled for this weekend. The attacks, which left dozens wounded, took place around the country, including in Baghdad; the southern city of Nasiriya; and in the northern cities of Kirkuk, Tuz Khurmatu, Samarra and Mosul. The blasts followed the assassinations over the weekend of two Sunni Muslim candidates for provincial elections. The deadliest attacks occurred in Baghdad, where security sources said 21 people were killed, including three in a major security breach when a pair of car bombs exploded by the heavily patrolled entrance to Baghdad International Airport.
April 6, 2013 |
BEIRUT -- Lebanon's political blocs united behind a compromise choice for prime minister Saturday, two weeks after his predecessor quit office under the cloud of the civil war in neighboring Syria. Tammam Salam, endorsed nearly unanimously by the parliament, vowed in a televised speech to maintain a stable Lebanon and to shield the country from the troubles next door. He was tasked with forming a Cabinet by Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and approved by 124 of the 128 parliament members.
March 28, 2013 |
BAGHDAD - Ten years after the U.S.-led invasion to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the geopolitical winner of the war appears to be their common enemy: Iran. American military forces are long gone, and Iraqi officials say Washington's political influence in Baghdad is now virtually nonexistent. Hussein is dead. But Iran has become an indispensable broker among Baghdad's new Shiite elite, and its influence continues to grow. The signs are evident in the prominence of pro-Iran militias on the streets, at public celebrations and in the faces of some of those now in the halls of power, men such as Abu Mehdi Mohandis, an Iraqi with a long history of anti-American activity and deep ties to Iran.
March 7, 2013 |
ASTORE, Pakistan - The caravan pulled away, leaving behind 19 bullet-riddled bodies in a muddy ditch. Inside the three buses, those spared quietly wept. The remaining Shiite Muslims had just survived a massacre by Sunni Muslim militants. And the Sunnis aboard had just helped save as many of the Shiites as they could. Akhtar Hussain, a 37-year-old Shiite survivor, said he turned to the Sunni passengers when he finally disembarked in this tiny mountain hamlet. "I told them, 'I am grateful to you. If you would have said I was Shiite, I wouldn't be here right now. May God be with you.'" What happened on the remote mountain road in August didn't follow the script.
February 13, 2013 |
RAMADI, Iraq - The call to prayer echoes across the quiet highway in western Iraq and a few hundred men gather along the roadside in the frigid night air. Each has a story to tell: a father whose son languishes in jail without trial; a veteran who cannot get a job; a student so terrified of the police that he avoids Baghdad. In the morning, they know the area will fill with thousands of people like them, with stories like their own. Under the flutter of tribal flags, they will shout boisterously the same words heard from protesters across the Arab world: Down with the regime.