Chronology: Iraq

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See also Turkey

Oct. 16: Thirty of 40 Iraqi asylum seekers were returned to the UK, where they had been seeking asylum, after being refused entry into Iraq. British immigration authorities had attempted to deport them to Baghdad. [BBC, 10/16]

Oct. 17: A suicide bomber destroyed a key bridge outside of Ramadi. No one was killed in the attack. The bridge had been used heavily by the US military and served as a major civilian roadway. [NYT, 10/17]

Oct. 25: Two car bombs detonated in Baghdad, killing at least 160 people and wounding at least 540. The coordinated attacks took place outside of the Justice Ministry and the Baghdad Provincial Governorate buildings. The attack was the deadliest in the Iraqi capital over two years. [CNN, 10/26]

Oct. 27: The Iraqi government began lobbying the International Atomic Energy Agency for permission to restart its nuclear program. Iraq also had approached French nuclear experts about the possibility of rebuilding at least part of its nuclear infrastructure. The country's last two nuclear reactors were destroyed by British and American war planes during the 1991 Gulf War. [Guardian, 10/28]

Oct. 29: More than 60 Iraqi security officials, including 11 senior officials, were arrested in connection with the October 25 bombings in central Baghdad. Many of those detained were commanders of 15 checkpoints in the targeted area. It was unclear if suspicions of negligence or involvement in the bombings motivated the arrests. [BBC, 10/29]

Nov. 1: Baghdad hosted a trade fair for the first time in more than six years. The tenday fair was attended by approximately 400 foreign firms. [AFP, 11/1, Reuters, 11/2]

Nov. 3: Britain's BP and China's China National Petroleum Corporation signed a contract with Iraq's Oil Ministry to develop the Rumayla oil field. The contract stipulated a 20-year development process and was the first major oil deal since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. [Al-Jazeera, 11/3]

Nov. 8: The Iraqi Parliament passed a law establishing rules that would govern national elections set for January 2010. The most contentious section of the law dealt with predominantly Kurdish Kirkuk. Some Arab and Turkmen politicians had called for Kirkuk to be split into two constituencies, and for 2004 or 2005 voter registration lists to be used. It was decided that it would be an open-list election, that Kirkuk would be one electoral constituency, and that current registration lists would be used. [Al-Jazeera, 11/8]

Nov. 9: Fifty women, calling themselves the Lioness Group, became the first women to graduate from Iraq's police officer training academy. Studying and training occurred separate from male counterparts. Until this time, women had served as police officers but had never been able to penetrate the officers' corps. [NYT, 11/9]

Nov 11: An Iraqi court fined the British newspaper The Guardian, charging that the periodical defamed Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. The charge stemmed from an article written by an Iraqi staff correspondent, which claimed that al-Maliki had become increasingly autocratic. [BBC, 11/11]

Dec. 6: Iraqi politicians reached agreement on an election law, ending a stalemate that had threatened to delay the parliamentary elections planned for February 2010. Their dispute concerned the numbers of seats allocated to Sunni, Shi'ite, and Kurdish communities. Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, a Sunni Arab, vetoed an earlier version of the law because it did not allot enough seats to refugees, many of whom were Sunnis. [RFE-RL, 12/7]

Dec. 8: A series of bombings in central Baghdad left 112 people dead and more than 400 injured. Several of the bombs, which exploded in quick succession, were placed near government buildings, such as the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry and the Interior Ministry. National Security Adviser Muwafaq al-Rubay'i said that al- Qa'ida was trying to destabilize Iraq before the parliamentary elections scheduled for early 2010. …