Updated at 6:57 p.m. EDT, April 30, 2009
At least 10 Iraqis were killed and 25 more were wounded in violence that closed out the deadliest month of the year so far. Two U.S. soldiers were reported killed in Amara, but the incident has not been confirmed yet. Meanwhile, British troops handed over control of Basra to U.S. forces. Also, a U.S. soldier was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of a fellow soldier.
British troops officially handed combat operations in Basra province over to U.S. forces today; however, 400 servicemembers will remain to train Iraqis under a security agreement the two countries signed. The British want to remain in charge of protecting oil facilities. Relations between the British and the central government were strained in the final months as the Iraqis blamed the British for letting militias run wild in Basra. During an ill-fated operation last year, the central government bypassed British forces but eventually had to call in the Americans to rescue the plan. Competing militias are still vying for control of the city.
The Iraqi Health Ministry reported that 395 civilians, including 105 Iranians, were killed during April. The official figure tops last month’s by 180 deaths and is the highest for the year so far.
A suspect led police to four decomposed bodies buried near Ramadi Hospital.
Three brothers were found shot to death inside their vehicle in Tal Afar.
In Mosul, a blast wounded two policemen. Six civilians were wounded in two separate blasts. An Iraqi soldier was shot dead outside his home this afternoon, while gunmen separately killed a guard working for the Kurdstan Democratic Party. Last night, a blast targeting a U.S. patrol left no casualties.
Three civilians were wounded during a bombing just outside of Baghdad in Abu Ghraib.
A blast wounded four guards working for a political party in Fallujah.
A young man reported the recent shooting death of a relative in Basra. Accurate violence figures have never been reliable from the southern province. Nineteen suspects were detained. Also, a child was liberated from her kidnappers, who were subsequently arrested.
Fifteen suspects were arrested in Khalis.
Turkish forces launched an air strike into northern Iraq hours after 10 Turkish soldiers were killed in what is believed to be a Kurdish rebel strike in Turkey.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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