Updated at 7:05 p.m. EDT, July 28, 2009
At least 18 Iraqis were killed and 27 more were wounded the latest attacks. Dozens more were reported beaten at Camp Ashraf. The day was also marked by political developments: The Iraqi government failed to produce a security pact that would have allowed British troops to remain in the country. Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates toured a southern Iraq base where top Iraqi commander, Gen. Ray Odierno accused Iran of meddling in upcoming Iraqi elections. Also, Turkey prefers asking Iraq to help stop the PKK rather than talk peace directly with the rebel group.
British troops will withdraw to Kuwait by the end of the month, because a deal, similar to one forged with the U.S., did not pass in the Iraqi parliament. This development is likely welcomed by Prime Minister Maliki who has had strained relations with the British for years. To undermine the British, Maliki staged a military operation last year that nearly caused a civil war. It ended with an Iran-brokered truce between the central government and Sadrist forces.
People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran (PMOI), a former rebel group from Iran, claimed that Iraqi forces had illegally entered Camp Ashraf. At least three people were allegedly beaten, but dozens more were reported wounded. Local authorities said the troops were there on orders from the central government. Saddam Hussein had allowed the group to emigrate from Iran, but the current government wants them removed. If they were to return to Iran they could face torture and execution.
In Baghdad, a motorcycle bomb in Jadida killed eight people and wounded 17 others. Eight security guards were killed during a bank robbery in Karrada. Four people were wounded when a pair of bombs was detonated in Doura. A coroner reported that he now gets on average about 22 unidentified bodies per day in Baghdad. If that figure reflects only those who died in violent attacks, it is a much higher amount than normally makes the news reports.
A roadside bomb killed a civilian in Jalawla.
Security forces liberated a child in Amara.
An arrest warrent was issued in Salah ad-Din province for a health official.
Turkey urged Iraq to stop the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) from using Iraq as a launching point for attacks. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was working on a new opening to end the conflict; however, a senior PKK commander Murat Karayilan called Turkey’s desire to end the conflict “insincere.” The PKK recently extended a unilateral truce they imposed on themselves in hopes Turkey would begin peace talks. The PKK has been fighting for an independent Kurdistan across parts of Turkey, Iraq and neighboring countries.
Nineteen suspects were arrested in Fallujah.
Three Naqshabandiya Army suspects were arrested in Baquba.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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