Only one Iraqi death was reported on an otherwise busy news day. In Baghdad, officials are demanding an apology from U.S. forces over a botched raid in Kut. Meanwhile, the only confirmation of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi appears to be his picture. Also, a number of people celebrated what would have been Saddam Hussein’s 72nd birthday. There is also a possible loss of life in a bomb blast involving U.S. troops near Baquba.
Iraq is demanding an official apology from the U.S. over a botched raid that killed two Iraqis in Kut on Sunday. Although the Iraqis detained two of their own military commanders for authorizing the raid, they are claiming that U.S. forces did not have permission from Baghdad. The two victims were “innocent” and the others arrested at the time of the incident were later released. U.S. officials have already expressed their condolences.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki confirmed that Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, who is the suspected leader of the Islamic State of Iraq is in custody. His photo was released to the public. Iraqi TV presented one image, while Al-Arabiya published a different image. No other documentation was given, and many experts believe Abu Omar is a fictional character.
Iraqi officials claim they have the group of men behind a series of bombings in Baghdad on April 6, just a day before a visit by U.S. President Obama. Although they say the men are al-Qaeda members, one of those arrested is a Shi’ite working for the Interior Ministry. Officials said money lured the man into the mostly Sunni organization.
About 150 people gathered at Saddam Hussein’s grave in Ouja to observe his birthday and to chant anti-Bush slogans. The former Iraqi leader would have turned 72 today.
A roadside bomb blast struck a U.S. patrol in Baquba, but casualties were as yet not reported.
In Mosul, gunmen killed a civilian who is the father of two policemen in Zanjili.
Iraqi officials said that 90% of al-Qaeda elements were eliminated from Duluiya.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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