Updated at 7:31 p.m. EST, Jan. 18, 2009
At least three Iraqis were killed and two more died on a very quiet day. No Coalition casualties were reported; however, a bus carrying Arbaeen pilgrims slammed into the back of a British military vehicle, killing at least seven passengers. Meanwhile, Kuwait’s deputy prime minister has announced plans to visit Iraq next month. Also, the U.S. military is planning to transfer security of two oil platforms entirely into Iraqi hands, while a U.S. has avoided murder charges by pleading guilty to assualt.
A U.S. staff sergeant facing murder charges in connection with the death of an Iraqi prisoner instead plead guilty to charges of assualt, maltreatment and making a false official statement.
The deputy prime minister of Kuwait, Sheikh Mohammad al-Salem al-Sabah, will visit Iraq next month in what is the first visit by a high level Kuwaiti official since the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq.
Seven people were killed and another 27 were injured near Basra, when their bus smashed into the back of a British armored vehicle. The group had been in Karbala for Arbaeen observances. There was no mention of British casualties. The British vehicle was parked at the time.
In Baghdad, gunmen killed a local official from the Iraqi Islamic Party, which is the largest Sunni-led party. Also, dozens of demonstrators protested the arrest of journalist shoe-lobber Muntadhar al-Zeidi. Fourteen suspects were detained, and nine bombs were defused during security operations. A lawmaker who belongs to the National Dialogue Front said that security forces raided his home and arrested two employees under direct orders from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
In Mosul, a roadside bomb killed an Iraqi soldier. Six suspects were detained, and a homemade bomb was defused. Another two suspects were also detained. A pair of I.E.D.s were detonated, but no casualties were reported.
Early this morning, a roadside bomb planted on a highway between Kirkuk and Tikrit one person and wounded two others. The group worked for a private security company.
The mayor was Suwayra was arrested on suspicion of terrorist activities.
Across Basra province, six suspects were detained and a number of munitions were seized.
Twenty-five suspects were detained across Diyala province.
While sectarian violence may be fading away, the re-opening of Iraq’s National Museum is a microcosm of the political turf wars that Iraq is facing.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis