Updated at 6:40 p.m. EDT, June 29, 2009
With the U.S. withdrawal deadline looming, Iraqi forces spent Monday assuring citizens of their ability to handle security and declared tomorrow “National Sovereignty Day.” At least 14 Iraqis were killed and 13 more were wounded in the latest attacks. One U.S. soldier was killed in combat yesterday in Baghdad.
Tomorrow is the deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from most Iraqi cities. There are a few exceptions and troops are generally only withdrawing to the outskirts of cities or nearby bases, but the deadline does mean that Iraqi security forces will be responsible for security within the cities. Full withdrawal is not scheduled until 2011, but most combat troops will be gone by August of next year.
American troops already left Baghdad, where Iraqi troops held impromptu parades. An official ceremony was also held. U.S. officials stressed that cities like Kirkuk are prepared for the handover. Iraqi officials in other cities, such as Tal Afar, expressed their preparedness. Meanwhile, Muthanna police, who have maintained their own security since 2006, and Ramadi police held parades. Diyala police also held a large military parade. Over 21,000 personnel marched in the still restive province. Security personnel were deployed across Fallujah; however, Anbar’s deputy governor admitted his own concerns in the ability to maintain security throughout the province.
Nine people were killed and 11 were wounded in Hamdaniya when a bomb near a police station exploded. All the dead were security personnel, but most of the wounded were civilians. One Kurdish intelligence agent was among the dead. A five-year-old later died of his wounds.
Two policemen were killed and two more were wounded near Mosul in Hamamal-Aleel. They were attempting to defuse a bomb set at a bridge, but the bomb was detonated remotely.
In Ramadi, a bomb planted on a car killed a senior Sunni politician who was leaving a hospital.
Gunmen killed a policeman in Jalawla.
A bomb attached to a police car in Salah ad-Din province was detected and defused before it reached headquarters. No casualties were reported.
No casualties were reported after a bomb targeting Iraqi and U.S. troops in Dhi Qar exploded.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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