Senior Andean Correspondent
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Sep 7, 2013

Tunisia opposition rallies to street, pressures government over crisis

TUNIS (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Tunisians took to the streets on Saturday to renew their demands that the Islamist-led government step down and end a political deadlock threatening the North African country’s fledgling democracy.

It was the largest protest since Tunisia’s crisis erupted over the killing of an opposition leader in July, increasing pressure on the ruling Ennahda party to make way for a caretaker government before proposed elections.

Jun 20, 2013

Iraq says proxy war over Syria threatens its neutrality

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq is being buffeted by both sides in the civil war raging across its border in Syria and Baghdad’s official policy of neutrality is at risk as the conflict spirals into a region-wide proxy war, its foreign minister said.

After two years of fighting that has killed more than 93,000 people, Syria’s turmoil is dragging its neighbors into a deadly confrontation between Shi’ite Iran supporting President Bashar al-Assad and Sunni Arab Gulf nations backing Syrian rebels.

Jun 11, 2013

Al Qaeda, Sunni insurgents exploit Iraq’s sectarian woes

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Masked gunmen stopped the bus full of Shi’ite Muslim police officers and families at what looked like an Iraqi army checkpoint on a western desert highway in the Sunni-dominated province of Anbar.

Two of the gunmen asked passengers one by one where they were from and then shot 14 dead in their seats, leaving one woman alive with a simple message: “Go back and tell them how we are killing you.”

Jun 10, 2013

Bombs and battles hit northern Iraq, more than 70 dead

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Insurgents attacked cities across Iraq on Monday with car bombs, suicide blasts and gun battles that killed more than 70 people in unrest that has deepened fears of a return to civil war.

No group claimed responsibility for the day-long attacks, most of them in northern Iraq, but officials blame much of the violence that has killed nearly 2,000 people since April on Sunni Islamist insurgents linked to al Qaeda’s local wing.

Jun 1, 2013

More than 1,000 killed in Iraq violence in May

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – More than 1,000 people were killed in violence in Iraq in May, making it the deadliest month since the sectarian slaughter of 2006-07, the United Nations reported on Saturday, stoking fears of a return to civil war.

Nearly 2,000 people have been killed in the last two months as al Qaeda and Sunni Islamist insurgents, invigorated by the Sunni-led revolt in Syria and by Sunni discontent at home, seek to revive the kind of all-out inter-communal conflict that killed tens of thousands five years ago.

May 30, 2013

Surging violence, sectarian fears haunt Iraq

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Two months of bombings that have killed more than a thousand Iraqis has not, officials insist, been enough to tip the country back into the all-out communal blood-letting of a few years ago.

But such assurances do not impress anxious Baghdadis like Atheer, a delivery driver, who has started restricting his movements again for fear of sectarian death squads.

Apr 24, 2013

Iraq on edge after raid fuels deadly Sunni unrest

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) – Gun battles between militants and Iraqi forces killed more than 20 people on Wednesday after a raid on a Sunni Muslim protest camp a day before ignited the fiercest clashes since U.S. troops left.

On Tuesday, troops stormed a camp where Sunni Muslims have protested for months against what they see as their marginalization under the Shi’ite-led government, a raid that prompted hardline Sunni tribal leaders to call for revolt.

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.

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.

    • 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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