Iraq vice president says bombs were inside job
www.abc.net.au – Iraq’s vice president Tariq al-Hashemi has alleged that a series of bombings which killed scores of people in Baghdad on Thursday were organised from within the Iraqi government.
Mr Hashemi, a Sunni Muslim, is embroiled in a deep political row with the Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has issued an arrest warrant against him.
The vice president says only government involvement could explain why the bombers were able to plant so many explosives unhindered.
“What happened yesterday, I’m sure, that body inside the government manipulated all these explosives and the damages,” he told BBC Persian television.
“Nobody else could be qualified for that at all. And it’s not the first time. This style of terrorist attack, it’s well beyond even Al Qaeda to do it.”
The BBC website quoted him as saying: “After Americans decided to pull out, time comes for him, he felt himself free to try to get rid of his political rivals and opponents and critics – this is why he started with me, in due course he will continue with others.”
Mr Hashemi also says the United States should shoulder some of the blame, because of the style of management left in place after the withdrawal of the last of its troops.
“We don’t have in fact a modern, transparent state of law, democratic country,” he said.
“What we do have, unfortunately, is sectarian oriented, non-independent judicial system.
“We do have in fact a model which make us and the Americans not proud of what we have achieved.”
Mr Maliki sought Mr Hashemi’s arrest on terrorism charges this week.
After Friday prayers, with Sunni imams warning Mr Maliki was seeking to foment sectarian divisions, protesters turned out on the streets of Sunni-dominated Samarra, Ramadi, Baiji and Qaim, many waving banners in support of Mr Hashemi and criticising the government.
The crisis could scuttle a power-sharing agreement that splits posts among Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish leaders just days after the last American troops withdrew nearly nine years after the invasion to oust Saddam Hussein.
“What’s happening in Iraq is settling political scores,” Iyad Allawi, Mr Maliki’s predecessor and head of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc, told al-Arabiya television.
An emergency session in parliament among leaders of political blocs to debate the crisis was cancelled on Friday.