The good news continues. Nine Iraqi militias have agreed to lay down their arms. These are pro-government militias, and some of their members will take jobs in the state police force or other security forces. The group does not include Sadr’s militia, but this is obviously a step forward as the new government moves toward taking responsibility for the country’s security.
As for Sadr:
In the southern city of Kufa, explosions rocked the compound surrounding the mosque after ammunition used by fighters loyal to al-Sadr apparently caught fire, witnesses and Shiite militia members said. At least nine people were hurt.
Which would seem to confirm American claims about Sadr’s forces using mosques as arms storage depots.
In other Iraq news, the new Justice Minister announced that once Iraq regains sovereignty, the death penalty, which has been suspended under the provisional government, will be reinstated, notwithstanding objections from Europe. The death penalty will be applied more narrowly than under Saddam’s regime:
“Under Saddam Hussein, there were some 120 crimes punishable by death but we are going to narrow it down to those who, for instance, were responsible for mass graves or plundering the country’s oil wealth,” the minister said.
Mass graves and plundering oil wealth….hmmm…I wonder who that would be.
And finally, Condoleezza Rice says that the United Nations Security Council is very close to agreeing on a resolution that will support the transfer of sovereignty to the new interim government on June 30.