Baghdad: A spate of attacks targeting Iraqi
security forces and their allies killed at least 10 people
on Thursday, half in suicide bombings in the northern city of Mosul,
The ability of insurgents to strike against Iraqi police
and soldiers has raised worries about their competence as Iraq
takes over its own security ahead of the planned US withdrawal
of combat troops by the end of August.
Fears also are high that militants will take advantage of
public anger over the political deadlock following
inconclusive March 7 parliamentary elections to stage more
attacks and foment more instability.
Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said Prime
Minister Nouri al-Maliki will meet his main rival Ayad Allawi
for a second time in coming days to discuss the political
Maysoun al-Damlouji, a spokeswoman for the Allawi`s bloc,
declined to confirm the report but said both men had talked by
The two men, who disagree over who should form the new
government, last met on June 12. Allawi`s Sunni-backed Iraqiya
list won two more seats than the prime minister`s state of law
bloc, but al-Maliki has formed an alliance with another mainly
Shiite group. Their alliance is only four seats shy of a
simple majority in the 325-seat legislature.
Meanwhile, Iraq`s representative to the Arab League said
his country has begun preparations to host next year`s summit
of the 22-member organisation.
It would be the first high profile international event to
be held in Iraq since the 2003 US-invasion.
Qais al-Azzawi said USD 100 million has been allocated to
restore palaces that can be used for the event.
Some Arab officials have expressed concern about holding
the meeting in Baghdad, citing security conditions and the
continuing presence of US troops.