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

Investment banks eye Iraq despite risk

Robin Wigglesworth reports for the Financial Times:

LONDON - Even as the US prepares to pull out its last troops from Iraq, well-heeled investment bankers are starting to descend on Baghdad, hoping to capitalise on the strife-torn country’s tentative efforts to rebuild its physical and financial infrastructure.

Safety remains a big concern. Visiting bankers must travel with contingents of security personnel.

Undeterred, investment bankers from institutions including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Citigroup and BNP Paribas are still flocking to Iraq.

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19 killed in north Baghdad prison car bomb

Sameer N. Yacoub reports for The Associated Press:

BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber slammed a car packed with explosives into the gate of a prison north of Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 19 people, Iraqi officials said.

The bombing in the town of Taji, about 12 miles (20 kilometers) north of the capital, is the third major attack in about a week in Iraq, and raises questions about the ability of the nation’s security forces to protect the country after U.S. troops leave in just over a month.

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Mortar hits Iraq Parliament car park, kills one

Reuters reports:

A mortar bomb exploded in the carpark of the Iraqi parliament in Baghdad on Monday, killing at least one person and wounding six, two security sources said.

Mortars and rockets fired by militias sometimes land inside the heavily fortified Green Zone which houses the parliament, ministries and many foreign embassies.

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Iraq emerges from war a society divided by sect

Lara Jakes reports for the Associated Press:

The sounds of cars honking, shoppers shuffling and children laughing and playing drums fill the air in Hurriyah, a Baghdad neighborhood where machine-gun fire and death squads once kept terrified residents huddled in their darkened homes.

But normalcy has come at a price: Few Sunnis who were driven from what was once a religiously mixed enclave have returned five years after Hurriyah was the epicenter of Iraq's savage sectarian war. With Shiite militias still effectively policing the area, most Sunnis will not dare move back for years to come.

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Iraq’s young prepare to inherit a war-scarred nation after U.S. withdrawal

Dan Zak reports for the Washington Post:

Some young Iraqis say they are glad to be rid of Saddam Hussein but feel less safe — and therefore less free — than before 2003, a sentiment reflected in dozens of interviews in eight provinces.

They view their government as a pseudo-regime that deprives them of basic rights, and they worry that their peers are being lured into the ethnic, sectarian and partisan traps of their elders. They think the world is fixating on revolutions in other Arab countries while ignoring a rotting democracy in Baghdad and their generation’s struggle to live the freedom that was promised to them 8 and a half years ago.

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Blasts kill 15 in Iraq as U.S. troops pull out

Rebecca Santana reports for the Associated Press:

A string of explosions hit a Baghdad market and the capital's western outskirts on Saturday, killing at least 15 people and exposing the challenges still facing Iraqi security forces just over a month before all American troops leave the country.

The bombings mark the second major attack against Iraqi civilians this week and come as American forces are packing up to leave and handing over their remaining security responsibilities to Iraqi forces. Many Iraqis are concerned that insurgents may use the transition period to launch more attacks in a bid to regain their former prominence and destabilize the country.

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For MEK, broad support in U.S.

Scott Shane reports for the New York Times:

At a time of partisan gridlock in the capital, one obscure cause has drawn a stellar list of supporters from both parties and the last two administrations, including a dozen former top national security officials.

That alone would be unusual. What makes it astonishing is the object of their attention: a fringe Iranian opposition group, long an ally of Saddam Hussein, that is designated as a terrorist organization under United States law and described by State Department officials as a repressive cult despised by most Iranians and Iraqis.

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Mortar attack on policemen near Mosul

AKnews reports:

One policeman was killed and four others were injured during a mortar attack in Zumar, west of Mosul, this afternoon.

The mortars were fired against a passport office where policemen were waiting to receive their identity cards.

Meanwhile, police in Mosul arrested 12 people on charges of terrorism and seized 15 explosive devices.

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Asayish officer, wife wounded by IED in Kirkuk

Abdullah al-Amiri reports for AKnews::

An officer of the Kurdish intelligence police Asayish and his wife were injured on Sunday in the volatile multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk after two IEDs placed around their house went off.

Asayish Lt. Azad Sadullah was about to leave his house, he and his wife were standing in the door, when the IEDs exploded, according to Halo Najat, an Asayish commander.

"Their wounds are not life-threatening, but the blast caused extensive damage to the house," Najat said.

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3 policemen killed in Mosul

AKnews reports:

A police officer and two of his guards were assassinated in Mosul today.

According to Brig. Gen. Mohammed al-Jubouri of Nineveh Operations Command, the victim was identified as Lt. Col. Hazeem al-Jubouri.

"They were shot by unknown gunmen," Jubouri said. "Then they could escape."

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