DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
March 15, 2010
Intelligence and Baghdad sources disclose that prime minister Nouri al-Maliki was injured in an attempt on his life last Thursday, March 11. His armored convoy came under an RPG-automatic fire attack after a bomb hit his car. US and Iraqi authorities have blacked out the incident, but our sources learn that Maliki is being treated for moderate-to-serious injuries at the American military hospital. One source says he was hit in the arm. His doctors apparently found his condition was too serious for him to face TV cameras and deliver a broadcast statement to the nation scheduled Sunday March 14, although members of his State of the Law party were beginning to ask questions about his disappearance.
As the counting of votes continues in Iraq's general election, it confirms the Maliki party's lead against its foremost rival, former prime minister Iyad Allawi's secular al-Iraqiya bloc of liberal Shiites and Sunni Muslims.
Allawi's is running an active campaign to prove widespread vote-rigging both in the balloting of the 19 million eligible voters in the country and the more one and a half-million ballots outside.
Maliki is running ahead in seven to nine provinces. Still, Allawi who appears to have carried five, hopes to unseat his rival and win a second term as prime minister.
The incumbent, a Shiite, is solidly backed from Washington as its best hope for a stable government that would allow the US military to pull out of Iraq on time in August, seven years after the invasion.
Saudi Arabia and Syria and some circles in the Obama administration promoted Allawi's bid.
The attack on Malliki was obviously aimed at getting rid of the American candidate for Iraqi prime minister. His State of the Law party is very much a one-man show. Without its leader, it would probably break up into factions and its winning parliamentary members attach themselves to other groupings in the 325-member House.