Baghdad: Iraqi political leaders were set
for crisis talks on Friday after the country suffered its
deadliest attacks in four months amid a row that has seen its
premier threaten to dissolve power-sharing.
Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who is wanted on
charges of running a death squad, blamed the crisis on Shiite
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, and accused the Iraqi leader of
behaving like now-executed dictator Saddam Hussein.
Maliki, meanwhile, has called for his Sunni deputy Saleh
al-Mutlak to be sacked, and the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc, to
which both Hashemi and Mutlak belong, has boycotted both
parliament and the cabinet.
Tensions were further heightened yesterday, when
insurgents carried out coordinated attacks in Baghdad that
killed 60 people and wounded nearly 200, while violence
elsewhere in the country left another seven dead.
In an interview with the BBC's Arabic Service, Hashemi
blamed Maliki for starting "a national crisis, and it's not
easy to control."
"Iraqis have a right to be worried," he added.
Hashemi, who has denied the terror charges against him
and is currently holed up in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region,
said yesterday's attacks occurred because the authorities were
too busy chasing "patriotic politicians".
"What happened today shows the deficiency and it's a good
evidence for the lack of control over administration of the
security brief, because the security services are pointed in
the wrong direction."
First Published: Friday, December 23, 2011, 15:19