Sunni

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Iraq Breaking Apart: Kurds Plan Independence Vote

90 walk out of parliament meeting

(Newser) - With Iraq divided by violence , its Kurdish region is ready to consider forging a nation of its own. Massoud Barzani, the president of the autonomous Kurdistan Region, says he's planning a referendum on independence that could occur in "a matter of months," the BBC reports. Kurdistan has... More »

Every Iraqi Urged to Pick Up a Weapon

Iraq's top cleric says 'everyone who can' must fight

(Newser) - Iraq's top Shiite cleric issued a statement during Friday prayers today, calling on everyone—Shiite and Sunni alike—to fight back against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the New York Times reports. It is "the legal and national responsibility of whoever can hold a weapon, to... More »

Iraq Loses Control of Its 2nd-Largest City

Police abandon Mosul to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

(Newser) - Fighters believed to be with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria took control of the city of Mosul today, as police and military forces fled their bases, leaving weapons, vehicles, and even their uniforms behind for the taking, the New York Times reports. The militants have seized the provincial... More »

Russia Sends Syria Ships— and 'Ship Killers'

Moves seem designed to ward off international military intervention

(Newser) - Russia is reportedly sending military aid to Syria that seems designed to counter any attempt at military intervention from the US or other Western countries. US officials tell the New York Times that Russia has sent the regime new, radar-equipped anti-ship cruise missiles, weapons that could fend off an international... More »

33 Killed at Sunni Protest Site in Iraq

'The peaceful demonstrations are over': tribal leader

(Newser) - Some 33 civilians have been reported dead after Iraqi security forces took on Sunni protesters near the city of Kirkuk. Almost 100 people were wounded in the fighting, local officials say; the Ministry of Defense says 20 "gunmen" and three soldiers were killed and 75 people arrested. Sunnis across... More »

Iraq Market Bombings Kill 31

Dozens injured in two Shiite areas

(Newser) - Four car bombs struck two outdoor markets in predominantly Shiite areas of Iraq today, killing at least 31 people and wounding dozens at a time of mounting discontent among minority Sunnis. The bombings in Baghdad and a town south of the capital were the latest attacks by suspected Sunni insurgents... More »

UN Enters Alleged Syria Massacre Site

Reporter calls scene 'ghastly' but says no bodies have been spotted

(Newser) - Things just keep getting worse in Syria: Activists say the government is shelling Homs again, possibly in preparation for a large troop surge. But UN monitors have finally made it to the site of the alleged massacre in Qubair, after being waylaid and shot at yesterday, reports Sky News . "... More »

Wave of Bombings Targets Iraq's Shiites, Killing 72

Heightens fears that attacks will increase now that US has withdrawn

(Newser) - A wave of bombings targeting Shiites in Iraq killed 72 people today, deepening sectarian tensions that exploded just after the last American troops left the country in mid-December. The bombings began early in the morning when explosions struck two Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, killing at least 27 people. A few... More »

Despite Maliki Crackdown, US Still Selling Arms to Iraq

Iraqi PM hasn't followed through on his end of agreement

(Newser) - The US is charging ahead with an $11 billion arms deal with Iraq, and has even delivered some of the promised fighter jets, tanks, and weapons—even though Nouri al-Maliki has blatantly failed to follow through on an agreement intended to ensure he would not marginalize his Sunni rivals. Indeed,... More »

Iraqi VP: I'm No Terrorist

Tariq al-Hashemi says Maliki forced his guards to confess

(Newser) - Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi vigorously denied the terrorism charges leveled against him yesterday , saying that Shiite-led security personnel had forced false confessions out of his personal guards. "I swear by God I didn’t do this disobedience against Iraqi blood, and I would never do this," he... More »

29 Dead in Iraq Mosque Bombing

Um al-Qura mosque is largest Sunni mosque in Baghdad

(Newser) - A suicide bomber blew himself up inside Baghdad's largest Sunni mosque tonight, killing 29 people during prayers, a shocking strike on a place of worship similar to the one that brought Iraq to the brink of civil war five years ago. Iraqi security officials said parliament lawmaker Khalid al-Fahdawi,... More »

Saudis Forming Anti-Shiite 'Club of Kings'

Royal family moves to form alliance against Iran, uprisings

(Newser) - Saudi Arabia is moving to firm up alliances with Sunni nations in a bid to limit Iran’s influence and stem the tide of revolts in the Arab world. It has asked several countries across the Middle East and Asia, including Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia, to join an informal alliance... More »

Gunmen Kill Saudi Diplomat in Pakistan

Karachi shooting tied to recent grenade attack on consulate

(Newser) - Gunmen on a motorbike shot and killed a Saudi diplomat as he was driving in Pakistan's largest city today, just days after two hand grenades were tossed at the Saudi consulate, police in Karachi said. The diplomat, who was a member of the security staff at the consulate, was... More »

As Mideast Seethes, Saudis Stand Alone

Kingdom feels encircled by enemies around the region

(Newser) - Popular unrest roiling the Middle East is is rocking the ultra-rich, ultra-conservative kingdom of Saudi Arabia, leaving its rulers feeling isolated both from regional allies and the United States alike, reports the New York Times . King Abdullah has called President Obama at least twice to voice his concerns about Egypt,... More »

200 Malaysians Face Charges for Deviating From Islam

Leading scholar slams country's 'Talibanization'

(Newser) - Buddhism, Christianity, and Hinduism are accepted in Muslim-majority Malaysia, but the government has stepped up efforts to quash non-Sunni strains of Islam. More than 200 Shia Muslims have been arrested in a swoop on outlawed Islamic sects, and they are likely to be charged with "following the teachings of... More »

What to Do With a Koran Written in Saddam's Blood?

'Blood Koran' kept in high-security vault

(Newser) - Nearly eight years after Saddam Hussein’s fall from power, Iraqi officials are still grappling with relics of his rule. Debate is raging over the fate of a Koran written in 27 liters of Saddam’s own blood, drawn by a nurse and lettered by a calligrapher over a two-year... More »

Uniformed Men Execute 24 Sunnis in Baghdad

Victims were members of anti-Qaeda Awakening Councils

(Newser) - Gunmen wearing Iraqi military uniforms raided homes in a Sunni village south of Baghdad, killing at least 24 people, including five women, in execution-style attacks. Many of the dead were members of local Sahwa, or Awakening Councils—one of several names for the Sunni fighters who changed the course of... More »

Iraqi PM Loses Election; Supporters Threaten Violence

UN condones votes, al-Maliki calls result 'not final'

(Newser) - Iraq's fragile democracy is in danger after vote counts released today showed Nouri al-Maliki narrowly lost the election. The current PM's party lost to Ayad Allawi's Iraqiya, 91 to 89. Though the margin was slim, electoral observers and diplomats say the result was fair and largely free of fraud. Nonetheless,... More »

41 Dead as Female Suicide Bomber Strikes Iraqi Pilgrims

Another 106 injured in suicide attack

(Newser) - At least 41 people were killed and another 106 injured when a woman blew herself up in a crowd of Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad today. The woman hid the explosives underneath her abaya, a long traditional black garment. Witnesses describe seeing a fireball, and then seeing pilgrims “on the... More »

Why Iraq Bombs Aren't Sparking Civil War

(Newser) - Iraq was rocked by two deadly, possibly destabilizing bombings this weekend, but the proof is in the reprisals, Larry Kaplow writes in Newsweek—and there were none. “Iraq today is a different place than it was when ethnic conflict threatened to engulf the country in 2006,” Kaplow continues.... More »

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