By Margaret Griffis at Antiwar.com
Bombers moved on to the holy city of Karbala, perhaps in response to Monday’s meeting between Prime Minister Abadi and Grand Ayatollah Sistani. Attack there and battles elsewhere left 243 dead and 139 wounded.
On Monday, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met with Iraq’s highest-ranking Shi’ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. Sistani blessed the new government, according to Abadi. Abadi also reiterated his promise that no foreign boots will fight on the ground against the Islamic State militants.
Militants dressed in Peshmerga uniforms were able to take over two villages near Qara Tapa. Reinforcements prevented Qara Tapa from falling, but at least 15 people were killed, half of them residents. Ten militants were also killed; dozens more were reported killed or wounded. Nine civilians were executed and six were kidnapped.
In Baghdad, a suicide bomber killed 15 people and wounded 33 more after he shot dead a guard, the imam, and a worshipper. Two police officers were wounded in a shootout between Interior Ministry police and an armed group in Karrada; the important kidnapping victim they were there to liberate escaped during the firefight. Thirteen militants were killed to the west of the city. A civilian was shot and killed in Bayaa.
Four bombs in Karbala killed 22 people and wounded 51 more near the Imam Hussein and Abbas shrine, two of the most important in Iraq.
Four volunteer fighters were killed in a clash in Balad.
Security forces have surrounded Tikrit, and battles are underway.
Militants also attacked Gwer.
In Jurf al-Sakhar, 20 militants were killed.
Sixteen militants were killed in attacks around Mount Sinjar.
Near Falluja, in Zaubaa, 15 militants were killed in a clash.
In Baiji, 15 militants were killed.
Airstrikes killed eight militants and wounded 16 more just south of Daquq.
In Shirqat, four militants were killed, including a wali.