Iraq Oil Report's Daily Brief compiles the most important news and analysis about Iraq from around the web.

Bahrain releases teenage Iraqi football player

Associated Press reports:

Bahrain has released a teenage Iraqi football player detained for seven months in Bahrain on suspicion of participating in anti-government protests.

Abdulameer Naji told The Associated Press that his son Zulfiqar Naji, now 17, was released Saturday as a goodwill gesture from the Bahraini government to mark a key Muslim holiday.

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Iraqi Parliament’s attendance data are bogus

Reidar Visser reports:

On paper it looks all fine. A record of Iraq’s parliamentary attendance figures is regularly published, along with the names of deputies who are absent from parliamentary sessions. ...

There is only one problem: The numbers are false. A systematic correlation of parliamentary records and attendance information linked to individuals shows that only a fraction of those absent are actually accounted for in the official record. Here is a quick rundown of gross attendance figures and the numbers of absentees actually identified by name for the past months.

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US brigade in Iraq heading to Kuwait

Lolita C. Baldor report for Associated Press:

While all but a small number of U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of the year, not all of them will be heading home for the holidays as President Barack Obama promised last month.

The Pentagon tentatively plans to move at least 4,000 soldiers from Iraq to Kuwait at the end of the year, pending a final decision expected soon by Pentagon and Kuwaiti leaders, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

The move is part of a still-developing Pentagon strategy that ends the Iraq war but positions a strong U.S. force just across the border in Kuwait and across the region to reinforce the United States' commitment to the Middle East and prevent a power vacuum when the tens of thousands of U.S. forces who have served in Iraq are gone.

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Eight killed in Basra bombings

AFP reports:

Three motorbikes rigged with explosives blew up in the southern Iraqi port city of Basra on Wednesday night, killing at least eight people and wounding at least 22, a doctor and police said.

A doctor at Sadr Hospital in Basra said that at least eight people were killed and 22 wounded in the blasts, while a police lieutenant colonel gave the same toll.

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As troops leave, U.S. seeks custody of key Iraq detainee

Phil Stewart and Suadad al-Salhy report for Reuters:

With less than 60 days before the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, the United States is quietly seeking to keep custody of its highest profile detainee there, U.S. and Iraqi officials say.

But it is unclear if Baghdad will agree -- something it appears highly reluctant to do -- or where the United States would take him if it did win outright custody.

Hezbollah operative Ali Mussa Daqduq, suspected of orchestrating a 2007 kidnapping that resulted in the killing of five U.S. military personnel, must be transferred to Iraqi custody by the end of this year under the terms of a U.S.-Iraq security agreement.

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Attackers strike Iraq Sunni militia in Baquba, six killed

Reuters reports:

Two bombs exploded as members of a government-backed Sunni militia gathered to collect their pay in the Iraqi city of Baquba on Thursday, killing six people and wounding dozens, security and health officials said.

A suicide bomber detonated an explosive vest among members of the Sahwa militia near the gates of a military headquarters in western Baquba, and a car bomb blew up nearby a few minutes later, security sources and witnesses said.

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UN to broker deal between Iraq, Iranian exiles

Lara Jakes reports for the Associated Press:

In a last-ditch attempt to head off a confrontation, the top U.N. envoy to Iraq on Thursday offered to broker the peaceful closing of a camp of Iranian exiles before the government in Baghdad forces its residents out at the end of the year.

An aide to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Iraq's Cabinet would consider easing its deadline if a solution can be agreed on quickly.

At issue is a group of about 3,300 exiles at the remote Camp Ashraf in Iraq's eastern Diyala province who seek the overthrow of Tehran's clerical rulers. Members of the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran, they won refuge at Ashraf decades ago during the regime of Saddam Hussein, a Sunni who saw them as a convenient ally against Tehran's theocracy.

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Iraq announces defense and security summit

The Iraq Program for Peace and Stability announces in a press release:

The Government of Iraq and the Iraq Program for Peace & Stability are pleased to announce the inaugural Iraq Defence and Security Summit 2011. The country of Iraq has suffered from years of under investment in these sector and have over the last eight years, received support from the US and coalition governments.

The focus of this summit is National Security and Defence Procurement and with new multi-billion dollar budgets in hand, the Iraqi Government are intending to procure best in class products and solutions from the world’s leading suppliers. This is the first opportunity that global market leaders and suppliers from the defence and security sector will get to engage with the new Defence and Interior Ministries and their procurement teams since the election of the new coalition government.

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Iraq desert dispute could reignite sectarian feud

Suadad al-Salhy reports for Reuters:

An administrative spat between Iraq's Shi'ite-majority Kerbala province and Sunni-dominated Anbar over a disputed tract of western desert could refuel sectarian conflict as Iraq emerges from years of war.

A deadly ambush of Shi'ite pilgrims as they headed through the desert in September re-ignited a long-simmering feud between Kerbala and Anbar over a vast expanse of sand known as al-Nukhaib, a route to western neighbours Syria and Saudi Arabia.

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Bahrain will replace Iraq as host of 2013 football Gulf Cup

The Associated Press reports:

Bahrain’s Olympic Committee says the Gulf kingdom has replaced Iraq as host of the 2013 Gulf Cup, angering the Iraqis.

General secretary Sheik Ahmed bin Hamad Al Khalifa says the decision to swap venues was made by the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, without disclosing a reason.

The 2013 Gulf Cup was originally awarded to Basra, Iraq’s second largest city, but Bahrain’s state-run media said Basra’s stadium and hotel construction were given a poor review by the GCC soccer committee.

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Click here for the full press release

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