Senior Andean Correspondent
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Apr 20, 2013

Bombs mar start to first Iraq vote since US exit

BAGHDAD, April 20 (Reuters) – A dozen small bombs exploded
and mortar rounds landed near polling centres in Iraq on
Saturday, wounding at least four people during voting in the
country’s first provincial elections since the departure of U.S.
troops.

Two mortar rounds injured three voters and a policeman at a
school used as a voting centre in Latifiya, south of Baghdad,
soon after the start of the ballot that will measure parties’
political strength before parliamentary elections in 2014.

Apr 19, 2013

Mosque blasts, clashes before Iraq local vote

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Mortar rounds hit an Iraqi Sunni Muslim mosque and a bomb exploded in a Shi’ite mosque on Friday in attacks that killed eight and fuelled tensions a day before provincial elections.

Troops also fired on Sunni Muslim protesters in Kirkuk in clashes that killed at least two people during a rally against Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Apr 10, 2013

Political risks to watch in Iraq

BAGHDAD, April 10 (Reuters) – Attempts to resolve a
power-sharing crisis in Shi’ite premier Nuri al-Maliki’s
government, disputes over oil with autonomous Kurdistan and
spillover effects from Syria’s war on Iraq’s internal politics
and insurgent violence are areas to watch.

Violence has surged since the start of the year with al
Qaeda’s local wing gaining from the Syrian conflict next door,
and feeding off Sunni Muslim discontent in western provinces
along the Syrian border.

Mar 27, 2013

Insight: Hopes, suspicions over peace in Kurdish rebel hideout

QANDIL MOUNTAINS, Iraq (Reuters) – Shattered stone houses recall Turkish air strikes on Kurdish rebels holed up in the Qandil mountains of northern Iraq. Life is harsh amid the snowcapped peaks, supplies are sparse and armed forays across into Turkey perilous in the extreme.

Yet rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan, who declared a ceasefire from his Turkish prison cell last week, may not find it easy to coax his fighters down as part of any deal to end a conflict that has taken over 40,000 lives.

Mar 27, 2013

Hopes, suspicions over peace in Kurdish rebel hideout

QANDIL MOUNTAINS, Iraq, March 27 (Reuters) – Shattered stone
houses recall Turkish air strikes on Kurdish rebels holed up in
the Qandil mountains of northern Iraq. Life is harsh amid the
snowcapped peaks, supplies are sparse and armed forays across
into Turkey perilous in the extreme.

Yet rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan, who declared a ceasefire
from his Turkish prison cell last week, may not find it easy to
coax his fighters down as part of any deal to end a conflict
that has taken over 40,000 lives.

Mar 19, 2013

Bombs kill 50 on Iraq invasion anniversary

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A dozen car bombs and suicide blasts tore into Shi’ite districts in Baghdad and south of the Iraqi capital on Tuesday, killing more than 50 people on the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.

Sunni Islamist insurgents linked to al Qaeda have vowed to step up attacks on Shi’ite targets since the start of the year in an attempt to provoke sectarian confrontation and undermine Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s government.

Mar 5, 2013

Syria spillover, al Qaeda strain Iraq security

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has long warned that Syria’s increasingly sectarian war might spill over the border and reignite his own country’s combustible Shi’ite-Sunni mix.

That nightmare may have edged closer after suspected Sunni insurgents killed 48 Syrian troops on Iraqi soil on Monday.

Jan 31, 2013

Al Qaeda calls on Iraqi Sunni protesters to take up arms

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Al Qaeda’s Iraqi wing on Thursday urged Sunni protesters to take up arms against Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, adding fuel to growing sectarian unrest in the world’s fastest-growing oil exporter.

Al Qaeda’s local affiliate Islamic State of Iraq said “peace and patience” were useless for dealing with the Shi’ite-led government they see as oppressors of Iraq’s Sunni minority.

Jan 29, 2013

Sunni discontent and Syria fears feed Iraqi unrest

RAMADI, Iraq (Reuters) – Across Iraq’s western desert, thousands of Sunni Muslims block highways, chant and pray in protests against Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki that grow more defiant by the day.

Their demands are many, but the old Iraqi flags from Saddam Hussein’s era and Sunni tribal colours fluttering among them are a clear message to Maliki: Enough, our time has come again.

Jan 29, 2013

Analysis: Sunni discontent and Syria fears feed Iraqi unrest

RAMADI, Iraq (Reuters) – Across Iraq’s western desert, thousands of Sunni Muslims block highways, chant and pray in protests against Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki that grow more defiant by the day.

Their demands are many, but the old Iraqi flags from Saddam Hussein’s era and Sunni tribal colors fluttering among them are a clear message to Maliki: Enough, our time has come again.

    • About Pat

      "Patrick Markey is the Senior Andean Correspondent for Reuters, based in Bogota, Colombia. For the last nine years he has covered and helped manage coverage across the Andean region, including Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador. He has also reported on top stories across Latin America, including more recently the Honduras coup and Haiti's earthquake."
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