As if in response to interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's move, four mortar rounds shook a neighborhood near the headquarters of Allawi's Iraq National Accord party Wednesday. Six people were wounded, an Interior Ministry official said.
The attacks on a stretch of Zeitoun Street in central Baghdad hit a building belonging to a foundation working to combat chest diseases. Three of the foundation's employees are among those injured in the attack.
A mortar also hit near a home used by Allawi, who was not home at the time of the attack.
Later, another explosion rocked the city, shaking the terminal building at Baghdad International Airport. There was no immediate word on whether there was any damage at the airport or any casualties.
In other recent developments:
The United States is offering $25 million for information leading to the capture of al-Zarqawi, who is suspected of being behind a series of coordinated attacks on police and security forces that killed 100 people only days before U.S. forces handed over power to an Iraqi interim government.
His followers have also claimed responsibility for the beheading of American Nicholas Berg and South Korean Kim Sun-il.
An armed vigilante group calling itself the "Salvation Movement" threatened on Tuesday to kill al-Zarqawi for insurgency attacks that have killed Iraqis.
Wednesday's mortar attacks are the second time that Allawi's party, the Iraqi National Accord, was targeted. In the days before U.S. officials handed over power to Allawi's interim government on June 28, insurgents overran the offices of the Iraq National Accord party in Baqouba, an insurgent hotspot north of the capital, Baghdad. No one was hurt in that assault.
The attacks came only hours after Allawi was set to unveil the law formally. The new law gives Iraqi officials the ability to institute martial law for limited periods of time and under special circumstances.
"We realize this law might restrict some liberties, but there are a number of guarantees," Justice Minister Malik Dohan al-Hassan said during a news conference announcing the law Wednesday.
"The borders are still open for infiltrators and, as a result, the security situation is unstable," said Imad Hussein al-Shebeeb, a senior member of the Iraq National Accord party.
"The lives of the Iraqi people are in danger, they are in danger from evil forces, from gangs from terrorists," said Human Rights Minister Bakhityar Amin.
Amin compared the law to the U.S. Patriot Act.
The law gives Allawi the right to assign curfews to specific areas, to conduct cordon and search operations and detain individuals with weapons on them.
It also gives Allawi the right to assign governors, including military leaders, to be in charge of specific area.
Justice Minister Malik Dohan al-Hassan said the premier would need to get warrants from an Iraqi court before he could take each additional step and said martial law could only be declared for 60 days or for the duration of the specific violence, whichever is shorter.
In its current form, the new law calls for the revision of emergency measures every 60 days, contingent on the approval of the Cabinet, including the president and the country's two vice presidents, said an official in the Defense Ministry speaking on condition of anonymity.
"There will not be an automatic renewal of the law," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. It will be revised "so that we don't have emergency laws in place for 20 years."