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

Baaqouba attacks leave 2 killed, 11 injured

Bryar Mohammed reports for AKnews:

At least two children have been killed and 11 people have been injured a series of IED attacks I Baaqouba, Diyala province 57 km north east of Baghdad, in what became the first series of attacks in 2012.

Ali Haidar, a police officer in Diyala police department told AKnews that “the latest figures from the bombings that have been confirmed is 2 deaths and 11 injures.. The two people killed in the attack are children”

Click here for the entire story

KIU to file lawsuit for arsons

Fryad Mohammed reports for AK News:

The Kurdistan Islamic Union, an opposition party in Iraq's Kurdistan Region, is filing lawsuits against the groups involved in torching their offices Duhok Governorate last month.

Early December several hotels, massage parlors and liquor shops in Zakho city, Duhok, were burnt by a mob said to have been incited by a clergyman Friday prayer. Another group of rioters burnt down the K.I.U. offices in various parts of Duhok.

Click here for the entire story

Kurdish extremist says he will return

Wladimir van Wilgenburg reports for Rudaw:

Mullah Krekar, former leader of the extremist Islamic group Ansar Al-Islam and an accused terrorist living in exile in Norway, told Rudaw the media that he will soon return to Kurdistan.

Krekar, the nom de guerre of Najmaddin Faraj, has been under house arrest in Norway since 2001. While Norway has declared him a threat to national security, the country has been unwilling to deport Krekar back to Iraqi Kurdistan on human rights grounds because Iraq practices death penalty.

Click here for the entire story

Kurds challenge Maliki ally in Parliament

Reidar Visser writes in Iraq and Gulf Analysis:

As Iraqi parliamentarians reconvened for their first session of 2012 today, the full spectrum of ongoing political crises were on display.

Symptomatically, the basic facts of who attended and who did not at times took precedence over the substantial content of the session. In the first place, the secular and increasingly Sunni-backed Iraqiyya party remained absent. A comfortable quorum was nonetheless reached with around 180 deputies present from the Shiite Islamists, the secular White Iraqiyya breakaway faction from Iraqiyya, and the Kurds.

That did not last long, however. Protesting against statements by Hussein al-Asadi, an ally of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, the Kurds withdrew from the session, demanding an apology from Asadi. Asadi had accused the Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, of illegally providing shelter for the newly indicted Tareq al-Hashemi, the Sunni vice-president, thereby supposedly violating the anti-terrorism law.

Click here for the entire story

Seven years after sieges, Fallujah struggles

Dahr Jamail reports for Al Jazeera:

Fallujah still bears the scars of war; skeletons continue to be pulled from the rubble of bombed buildings, and, worse, rates of birth defects and childhood malformations have skyrocketed.

There is evidence of reconstruction, but shortages of electricity and clean water remain prevalent. The overall mood in the city is one of anger, hopelessness, and fear.

Click here for the entire story

Reports differ of attack on an Iraqi minister

Jack Healy reports for The New York Times:

As reports of violence in Iraq go, this one seemed straightforward, almost routine: A convoy carrying a leading Sunni politician was said to be hit by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad on Sunday night, wounding two bodyguards but leaving the official unscathed.

But on Monday, no one seemed to be able to agree on any of the details of the attack against the official, Finance Minister Rafe al-Essawi, or even whether it had happened at all. Not for the first time, the facts seemed to be scrambled by Iraq’s growing political and sectarian discord.

Click here for the entire story

Black December for media in Kurdistan

Reporters Without Borders states:

It all started with a series of attacks on massage salons and shops selling alcohol in Zakho (a city on the northern border with sizeable religious and ethnic minorities) after Friday prayers on 2 December. That night, buildings belonging to the opposition Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) in Zakho were set on fire.

According to the latest tally:

* Five media premises were torched, ransacked or otherwise targeted
* Twelve journalists were illegally arrested or jailed
* There were more than 15 physical attacks on journalists.

Click here for the entire story

PUK confirms KDP to get KRG PM post

Wladimir van Wilgenburg reports for Rudaw:

Senior Kurdish officials close to Prime Minister Barham Salih say he will relinquish power to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) while his Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party scrambles to fill the vice-president’s post.

Arez Abdullah, a PUK leader, Abdullah said the PUK will hand over the premiership to the KDP soon and will try to fill the vice-president’s post which has been vacant for two years.

Click here for the entire story

Iraq finance minister unhurt in bombing

Aseel Kami reports for Reuters:

Iraqi Finance Minister Rafie al-Esawi, a prominent Sunni Muslim politician, escaped unharmed when a roadside bomb exploded near his car and wounded two of his security guards, his office and a health official said on Monday.

Esawi is one of the leaders of the Sunni-supported, cross-sectarian Iraqiya political bloc, ensnared in a crisis triggered when Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki sought the arrest of a Sunni vice president and the ouster of his own deputy, another prominent Sunni, last month.

Click here for the entire story

Iraqi civilian deaths climb in 2011

Serena Chaudhry reports for Reuters:

The number of civilians killed in violence in Iraq rose slightly in 2011 from the previous year, as daily bombings and attacks continued to claim victims almost nine years after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, a study showed on Monday.

A total of 4,059 civilians were killed in violent incidents in Iraq in 2011, compared to 3,976 in 2010, rights group Iraq Body Count said in its annual study.

Click here for the entire story