Updated at 8:55 p.m. EDT, Mar. 30, 2009
Calm may have returned to central Baghdad, but violence continued over much of Iraq. At least 15 Iraqis were killed and 19 more were wounded in various attacks. No Coalition deaths were reported, but a U.S. soldier was convicted of murdering four Iraqis in his care, and sentenced to 35 years in prison. Also, the British will hand over their base at the Basra airport to U.S. forces tomorrow.
Baghdad’s Fadhil neighborhood is calm now that the Iraqi army has taken over security. Clashes between Awakening Council (Sahwa) members and security forces took place over the weekend. Some residents admitted that this local Sahwa chapter was involved in a protection racket. Even so, the incident has sparked fears that the integration of the Sahwa into security forces will not go as smoothly as hoped.
In Mosul, a bomb killed a policeman and wounded four others. A second bomb blast in Souk al-Maash killed a soldier and wounded two others. A civilian was killed in a drive-by shooting. Gunmen killed a government official and injured his companion. A local party leader was killed in a drive-by shooting yesterday; three health department security guards were among the four detained in connection with the assassination. Gunmen attacked a checkpoint in Zahraa; one soldier and one gunman were killed. Also, police found explosives in an abandoned home.
Three people were killed and nine others were wounded outside a real estate registration office in Baquba. A bomb targeting a group of workers was hidden on a bicycle. A policeman was wounded in a separate bombing.
The body of a kidnap victim was discovered in Khanaqin.
Three Awakening Council (Sahwa) members were found dead inside a car in Hilla. Near town, gunmen killed a man and injured his sister-in-law.
An I.E.D. blast wounded a Sahwa member in Iskandariya.
Police arrested two men and freed a female hostage near Karbala.
Seven suspects were captured in Mahaweel.
A suspect believed to be dangerous was captured in Amara.
An I.E.D. was safely detonated in Hawija.
Meanwhile, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) insisted it will remain in their mountain stronghold despite calls by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who is a Kurd, for them to leave. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki irritated a Kurdish parliamentarian by refering to Iraq as an "Arab country."
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