Two Iraqi Women Legislators Targeted by Kidnappers

In Baghdad this weekend, two women legislators were targets of political violence. On Saturday, Taiseer Mashhadani, a Sunni lawmaker, and several of her bodyguards were abducted at a checkpoint in a Shiite neighborhood. The following day, Shiite Muslim lawmaker Liqa Yaseen and her driver escaped a kidnapping attempt, though eight of her bodyguards were captured, according to the Los Angeles Times .

The violence against both Sunni and Shiite women lawmakers comes during a time of continued civil unrest in Iraq. Recently, a car bomb hit the convoy of another Iraqi legislator, Iyad Jamaluddin. Although he escaped without injury, several of his bodyguards were injured, according to the Los Angeles Times. Other bombs exploded this weekend, killing over 80 people and wounding many more.

In response, the Iraqi Accordance Front, the largest Sunni Arab coalition in the legislature, announced a political boycott on Sunday. The political boycott aims to expedite the return of captured legislator Mashhadani by pressuring the government to invest resources in her discovery. Others, including Shiite bloc member Bassem Sherif, are concerned; Sherif recently told the Associated Press that “Such a boycott only serves the goals of the terrorists because they will feel that they have succeeded in hampering the political march in this country.”


AP 7/3/2006; Los Angeles Times 7/3/2006

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