Updated at 10:55 p.m. EST, Nov. 18, 2001
Today in Iraq, 66 Iraqis were killed or found dead and another 50 were injured. Assassinations of local leaders are the note of the day, and a large-scale battle is being waged in Baquba. Coalition forces also reported killing 11 suspected al Qaeda members in separate events, and U.S. forces conducted raids in Sadr City.
Confusion still surrounds the abduction of five contractors on Thursday. A new group called "Islamic Companies" claimed responsibility. They remain missing; however, a second group of five contractors were involved in a separate incident on Friday. A dispute over paperwork apparently resulted in a firefight. Of the second group, one was killed, one was hospitalized, and the other three were handed over to British authorities today.
In the capital, the daily search for dumped bodies netted 20 corpses in western Baghdad. Also, Ali Al-Adhadh and his wife were assassinated while traveling through the Yarmouk district. He was an official in the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq. His roles included being a foreign representative, human rights activist and professor at the University of Technology in Baghdad. Also, an attack on the home of Iraq’s science and technology minister in the Zayouna district; gunmen killed one guard and injured another there.
Because an all out battle is being waged in Baquba, a total curfew has been imposed. Two were killed and five wounded when a pair of mortar rounds fell on a residential neighbohood. Also, a gunman and three policemen were killed and three other officers injured in unspecified incidents. At least another 12 were killed and another 11 injured during the battle. Three corpses were also found in town, and there are unconfirmed reports that two U.S. vehicles were destroyed in an attack.
In Ishaqi, gunmen assassinated Shi’ite tribal leader Asif al Khazraji and seven others.
U.S. soldiers detonated a car bomb in Tikrit. As firefighters were trying to douse the flames, the car’s gas tank exploded and wounded 20 people.
A suicide car bomber drove to an army checkpoint in Mosul before detonating his explosives. Seven Iraqi soldiers were wounded.
One civilian was killed and two policemen were injured when a roadside bomb targeting a police patrol blew up near Latifiya.
Gunmen attacking alcohol dealers in Kut wounded a nine-year-old passerby instead.
In Muwafaqiya, tribal leader Sultan Salman was assassinated.
One child was killed when a roadside bomb in Nassiriya exploded.
And in Fallujah, gunmen killed Omar al-Falahi, who was a mosque preacher. Because they have called for calm and unity, mosque preachers have become favored targets of violence.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis
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