Updated at 5:19 p.m. EDT, June 20, 2009
During a speech to a Turkmen group in Baghdad, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki vowed to enforce a June 30 deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraqi cities. This pronouncement came hours before a massive truck bomb ripped through the Turkmen village of Taza. Overall at least 94 Iraqis were killed and 231 others were wounded across Iraq. Also, a pair of bodies was handed over to British authorities belong to two British hostages who were kidnapped in 2007. Three other British hostages still missing.
A massive truck bomb killed at least 80 Iraqis near Kirkuk in Taza. About 211 more Iraqis were wounded. Rescuers were digging people out of the rubble left from several buildings that were demolished. The Turkmen ethnic group is predominant in Taza. The Turken Front has announced three days of mourning. Fifty houses reported destroyed. Dog are on their way from the U.S. to help locate the missing.
U.S. troops held a ceremony in Sadr City to officially hand over security to the Iraqis. Most residents in the Shi’ite suburb of Baghdad welcome the transfer. Four dumped bodies were discovered in the al-Ras neighborhood. They were found shot to death in a partially constructed building.
In Baghdad, a magnetic bomb injured two civilians in the Sheikh Maafouf neighborhood.
In Mosul, gunmen killed an off-duty policeman and wounded one of his parents. A bomb at a plant nursery injured one policeman and one civilian. Two civilians were injured when a U.S. patrol vehicle crashed into theirs. A bomb wounded two policemen. Another bomb was safely detonated near Mosul University.
East of Mosul, gunmen attacked two Kurdish sisters, killing one and wounding the other.
Security forces imposed a curfew on Muqdadiya ahead of a security crackdown.
A bomb factory was seized in Dhi Qar province. Two suspects were arrested.
A suspect was killed in Basra.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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