The US Vice President has made a surprise visit to Iraq to talk about security and political and economic issues. Dick Cheney met the Iraqi Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki, in Baghdad as part of a week-long tour of the Middle East. Few details have been released about the talks but it is reported they addressed concerns that not enough is being done to crack down on militant attacks.
Not everyone was happy to see Cheney. Demonstrators marched in Baghdad chanting “occupiers get out”. Violent incidents in two cities have also brought home to Cheney the reality on the ground. In Arbil, about 20 people died in a bombing and four journalists were shot dead near Kirkuk.
A truck packed with explosives was used in the attack in Arbil, where militant violence has been extremely rare. The murdered Iraqi reporters, who worked for an independent publishing company, were the victims of a drive-by shooting near Kirkuk.