Just as predicted here, the tensions between the different factions in Iraq are increasing. “Fanatics lay claim to separate Sunni state,” by Oliver Poole in the Telegraph, with thanks to Ruth King:
An alliance of Sunni insurgent groups claimed yesterday to be establishing a separate Sunni state in the west of Iraq in the latest demonstration of the growing fragmentation of the country.
The statement by the Mujahideen Shura Council, an umbrella organisation of fanatical Sunni groups that includes al-Qa’eda, is the first time a Sunni body has supported the break-up of Iraq.
It said the move was in response to the passing by the Iraqi parliament last week of a federalism law which would permit provinces to join together to form self-ruling regions. That is expected to result in the creation of a semi-autonomous Shia zone in the south, similar to the Kurdish state in the north.
A separate Sunni state was needed to protect itself from such an eventuality, the insurgent group said.
At least 117 people have been killed in sectarian attacks since Friday and at least 57 died yesterday in shootings and bombings. They included the brother of the chief prosecutor in Saddam Hussein’s trial, shot in front of his wife.