In Iraq the violence that appears to have influenced the outcome of the congressional elections has claimed more lives across the country. More than 20 people have been killed in sectarian attacks in Shi’ite and Sunni areas of Baghdad. Most of the victims were Shi’ites in a cafe targeted by a suicide bomber. The others died in mortar fire on a Sunni neighbourhood. Dozens of people were injured in the two incidents.
Elsewhere, Iraqi security force personnel and insurgents were killed in a spate of clashes in Kirkuk, Samawa and Iskandariya. US commanders say 14 al Qaeda militants and insurgent fighters were killed in separate American-led operations.
The Iraqi government had imposed a two-day curfew to coincide with the verdict in the Saddam Hussein trial. But it appears to have done little to stem the bloodshed. Two days after being sentenced to death, the ousted dictator was back in court to face charges of genocide against ethnic Kurds. He urged Iraqis to end the sectarian strife.