Monday, December 12, 2005

Iraqi insurgents urge Sunnis to vote, warn Zarqawi

Reuters reported Saddam Hussein loyalists who violently opposed January elections have made an about-face as Thursday's polls near, urging fellow Sunni Arabs to vote and warning al Qaeda militants not to attack.

The realize they screwed up in January, and are not going to repeat their mistake.
In a move unthinkable in the bloody run-up to the last election, guerrillas in the western insurgent heartland of Anbar province say they are even prepared to protect voting stations from fighters loyal to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of al Qaeda in Iraq. Graffiti calling for holy war is now hard to find. Instead, election campaign posters dominate buildings in the rebel strongholds of Ramadi and nearby Falluja, where Sunnis staged a boycott or were too scared to vote last time around.
Ballots are better than bullets
"We want to see a nationalist government that will have a balance of interests. So our Sunni brothers will be safe when they vote," said Falluja resident Ali Mahmoud, a former army officer and rocket specialist under Saddam's Baath party. "Sunnis should vote to make political gains. We have sent leaflets telling al Qaeda that they will face us if they attack voters."

1 comment:

Gina Cobb said...

Related post:

Voting Underway in Iraq: And Thugs Say "Stop" in the Name of Allah

Voting has begun in the history-making parliamentary elections in Iraq. It is a day for Iraqis to celebrate.

But someone is not happy. According to reports, "Five Islamic militant groups, including al-Qaida in Iraq, issued a joint statement that rejected any reconciliation with Iraq's U.S.-backed government and said Thursday's elections are religiously prohibited."