Supporters of the Iraqi Islamic Party rallied in central Ba'qouba this week to protest the local leader of their predominantly Sunni Arab political bloc.
Abd al-Jabbar Ali Abu Mujahid, the leader of the Islamic Party’s Tawafuq Front bloc in the recently elected Diyala provincial council, was detained on Monday in a raid on the Diyala provincial administrative building, where the council meets.
Islamic Party supporters rallied in front of the administrative building on Tuesday, demanding the councilman’s release, and accusing the Da'wa Party of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of standing behind the arrest order in a power struggle related to the Da'wa Party’s “State of Law” list attaining leadership of the provincial council in the January 31 Iraqi elections. Party leaders also submitted complaints with the security forces and with the Iraqi political leadership in Baghdad over the arrest.
Meanwhile, an Iraqi army unit, in cooperation with US forces, conducted a raid in the Buhruz district, south of Ba'qouba city, arresting the leader of the Sahwa forces in the area, known as Abu Ayman. The arrest targeted the Sahwa leader at his house in the Saddam sector of the area on Monday. The detainee was transferred by air to the Muthanna airport in western Baghdad. Some locals allege that the detainee is linked to the al-Mujahidin Army militant group in the area.
The day before, Kurdish intelligence forces known as Asayish raided the al-Wahda sector of Jalawla city in northern Diyala Province, shooting dead the owner of the house. Family members called Iraqi Army forces after the raid, who responded with an emergency detachment that arrested members of the Kurdish intelligence forces who had staged the raid. Security sources familiar with the case say that a captain Ali Abdullah, rumored to have ties to Kurdish intelligence released the Asayish captives without explanation.
The following day, security sources say that Iraqi forces in the Jalawla area, a site of tension between Kurdish and Iraqi central forces, made a formal complaint to Diyala’s central command.