Tuesday: 23 Iraqis Killed, 85 Wounded

by , January 26, 2010

Updated at 9:24 p.m. EST, Jan. 26, 2010

A significant bomb attack rocked Baghdad for the second day in a row. At least 23 Iraqis were killed and 85 more were wounded there and elsewhere. Stunning testimony continues to seep out of the Iraq Inquiry as well. Also, corruption at Iraqi jails has reached dangerous levels.

Michael Wood, who was a chief legal adviser to Britain’s Foreign Office, has testified in a written statement to the Iraq Inquiry that he felt the invasion was illegal. His former deputy, Elizabeth Wilmshurst, also testified and said that every legal officer in the department had the same opinion as Wood. When she finished speaking, the public applauded her. British officials ignored their advice, possibly because then-Attorney General Peter Goldsmith felt the invasion was well within the provisions of November 2002 U.N. resolution. He is expected to testify tomorrow.

To the north, U.S. forces have quietly implemented a new operation that places U.S. troops at checkpoints that practically delineate the de facto border between Kurdish and Arab Iraq. Although the troops are working alongside their Arab and Kurdish counterparts, their mere presence at the "trigger line" worries Arab Iraqis who feel the Kurdish Autonomous Region could eventually annex these disputed areas in Nineveh, Kirkuk, and Diyala provinces.

Mohammad al-Haydari, the head of the parliament’s human rights committee, warned there are dangerous violations occurring within Iraq’s jails. He says that inmates are being tortured. Also, some jail keepers are demanding that bribes be paid before detainees can be released.

In Baghdad, at least 21 people were killed and 82 more were wounded when a suicide bomber near the Criminal Evidence Department in Karrada’s al-Tahariyat Square detonated explosives packed inside a Kia Minibus. Just before the blast Major General Qassim al-Moussawi of Baghdad Operations Command said that security had been heightened after yesterday’s devastating attack; however, B.O.C. has refused to stop using a controversial bomb detector that many say does not work. Also, an I.E.D. blew up in Yusufiya, wounding two civilians.

In Mosul, gunmen wounded a civilian during an attack in the al-Abar neighborhood. A small arms attack in Mosul al-Jadida left a former army officer dead.

Gunmen kidnapped a health employee in Kirkuk. Residents of the city, meanwhile, wonder what the March elections will hold for them.

Najaf security forces installed 300 surveillance cameras ahead of the upcoming Arbaeen observances.

Karbala began a campaign to rid the province of Ba’athists. Four al-Qaeda suspects were captured as well. Also, the police chief displayed a number of confiscated weapons.

A gunman was arrested in Tal Afar. An Iraqi married to a pregnant Syrian woman was detained on suspicion of ties to armed groups.

Two suspects were captured in Rabeaa. One is Syrian.

In Basra province, eight suspects were captured. The Human Rights Ministry will disinter the remains the Iranian soldiers killed during the Iraq-Iran War and then hand them over to Iranian authorities.

A large weapons cache was found near Kut.

Read more by Margaret Griffis