Updated at 11:35 p.m. EDT, July 19, 2009
A massive war-funding bill, that includes money for operations in Iraq, has left the U.S. congress and is on its way to the White House. Back in Iraq, the country’s U.N. Ambassador, Hamid al-Bayati, said that the security handover from U.S. to Iraqi hands is going smoothly. Meanwhile, seven Iraqis were killed and 11 were wounded in violence across the country. Also, one U.S. soldier was killed in a non-combat incident.
Congress has sent U.S. President Barack Obama a war-funding bill for his signature. The tab for the bill, which Congress promises will be the last “supplemental” bill for war expenditures, is a massive $106 billion. The money will fund operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan; however, a number of items on the bill are unrelated to war.
The handover of security operations from U.S. to Iraqi hands is advancing smoothly according to Iraq’s U.N. Ambassador. U.S. troops are to almost entirely withdraw from Iraqi cities by the end of the month.
In Mosul, gunmen killed the coach of the national karate team. An Iraqi soldier and a civilian were killed a separate small arms attack. Another civilian was wounded in a third shooting. Two people were wounded in a liquor store bombing.
In Baghdad, no casualties were reported after a bomb blasted a U.S. patrol.
Two Iraqi soldiers were killed and three more were wounded during a blast in Jalawla. A policeman was killed at a fake checkpoint on a road between Jalawla and Saidiya.
In Fallujah, a sticky bomb wounded the son of a former provincial council member; the father survived a similar bombing last year and fled the country. Another sticky bomb planted on a car belonging to a health official, wounded him and a companion. Two people were wounded in crossfire between gunmen and security forces. An explosives cache blew up the house it was being keeped in.
A man was arrested for killing a police officer in Kut. The date of the murder was not given.
Police near Amara in Kamiet arrested three suspects and liberated a woman from Mosul. Another woman from Mosul was liberated just 20 days ago.
Six suspects were detained across Missan province. Weapons and ammunition was also discovered.
Ammunition and weapons were discovered in Karbala.
The Iraqi army stormed the Basra provincial council, where they arrested one officer and eight guards. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki separately said that Iraqi troops in Basra are able to take over security concerns at the end of the month. However, Basra has never been fully under the control of Coalition troops and a Maliki-led security crackdown last year nearly turned into a civil war. That situation was defused thanks to an Iran-brokered truce, but Shi’ite groups continue to wage a power struggle in the province.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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