BAGHDAD: Iraq yesterday rejected an Iranian plan to restore stability to the country, saying it amounted to meddling in Iraq's internal affairs. "The Iraqi government expresses its rejection of the Iraq security plan proposed by the Iranian foreign ministry and will not accept that internal Iraqi affairs are liable to interference by regional countries," a government spokesman said.
In violence across the country, soldiers uncovered two mass graves containing 30 bodies of men and women in a former Al Qaeda stronghold northwest of Baghdad, during a joint operation of Iraqi and US forces in the Lake Tharthar region.
Gunmen killed six off-duty policemen near Mosul while two men were shot dead in Samarra.
Two bodies showing marks of torture and bullets were found near the town of Latifiya while the decapitated bodies of two policemen were found in the town of Dhuluiya.
Seven US soldiers were killed in operations throughout the country.
Iraqi and US forces are planning a military assault to take control of the central Shi'ite city of Diwaniyah, half of which is in the grip of militants.
"A widespread security operation will be launched soon in Diwaniyah with multinational forces to restore state control over the city," a local councillor said.
The US military yesterday announced it would soon release nine Iranians being held in Iraq, including two detained on suspicion of providing support to Shi'ite militias.
Iran yesterday opened two consulates in the Kurdish cities of Arbil and Sulaimaniyah, taking to four the number of Iranian consulates in Iraq, in addition to an embassy in Baghdad.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said the army will go ahead with an operation against Kurdish guerillas in northern Iraq, but Baghdad said the threat of a major incursion appeared to have diminished.
President Abdullah Gul said Turkey will do "what it believes to be right" in the fight against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq.
"It's highly possible for Turkey to do some limited operations in the short term against PKK camps in northern Iraq," a Turkish diplomat said.