Bombings tore through the Shi’ite portions of the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad today, killing dozens and adding to fears that last week’s eruption of sectarian violence is just the beginning of a new civil war.
Iraq’s government has also announced a 48-hour closure of the Jordanian border, nominally for “urgent internal reasons,” but sparking immediate speculation from Sunni protesters that it is punishment for their demonstrations. Iraq’s Sunni provinces rely on trade with Jordan.
Last week’s protests started with a general strike across Sunni Arab provinces, and was quickly met with a violent crackdown on one of the protest sites, and mass resignations for Sunni officials from the government in protest.
This now has Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi as well as top Iraqi National Alliance official Osama Nujaifi calling for the resignation of the current government and fresh elections. Since they represent two of the top three blocs in parliament, and presumably have support from the fourth, the Kurdistan Alliance, they could force new elections in theory, though whether they will remains to be seen.
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