Iraq Watch: Islamic State claims responsibility for suicide bombings, parliament agrees to meet Sunday

McClatchy Washington BureauJuly 8, 2014 

Mideast Iraq

Mourners carry the flag-draped coffin of Abdullah Swadi, a member of an Iraqi volunteer forces group who was killed during clashes with Islamic militants, his family said, during his funeral procession in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, July 8, 2014.


— The Islamic State claimed responsibility Tuesday for two suicide bombings that killed 12 people in Shiite areas of Baghdad in recent days.

The radical Sunni group posted photos of the two alleged bombers online, showing them with the Islamic State’s black flag, Reuters reports. The men, who were identified by the Islamic State as Lebanese and Libyan, posed with machine guns and had scarves over their faces.

The suicide bombings took place at a cafe in the Washash district of Baghdad on Sunday and at a checkpoint in Kadhimiya on Monday, according to Reuters.

Today’s other news from Iraq:

-Parliament agreed to meet on Sunday, reversing itself 24 hours after announcing on Monday that its next meeting would be delayed until August 12, Reuters reports. “Any delay in this could jeopardize the security of Iraq and its democratic course and increase the suffering of the Iraqi people,” acting speaker of the new parliament Mehdi al-Hafidh said on Tuesday.

-Iraq’s exiled Sunni vice president, Tariq al-Hashimi, told The Daily Beast that the violence wrought by the Islamic State in Iraq is only part of a larger Sunni revolt. “I can assure you a widespread spectrum of groups participated in what happened in Mosul. The media is focusing on ISIS,” Hashimi said. “They are influential and empowered on the ground and they are participating in this armed revolution. But we shouldn’t be blamed for that.”

-On Tuesday, bombings north of Baghdad reportedly killed eight people and a roadside bomb killed at least three police officers near Samarra, Agence France Press reports.

-Residents of Baghdad hope that the rise of the Islamic State won’t revive the sectarian violence and “death squads” from “the dark days” of 2006-7, the Los Angeles Times reports from the Iraqi capital.

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