Updated at 9:50 p.m. EDT, July, 18, 2010
At least 60 Iraqis were killed and 71 more were wounded in attacks that mostly targeted Awakening Council members. Also, former deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz, who was handed over to Iraqi custody last week, has been hit with new criminal charges.
The main attacks today targeted Awakening Council (Sahwa) members. Although many of the Sahwa members had once fought alongside al-Qaeda, these Sunni fighters banded together in 2005 to rid the country of al-Qaeda elements. In the last couple of years, however, many have abandoned their posts over late pay and other perceived insults from the Shi’ite-led government. Their absence could be allowing for a surge in revenge attacks, particularly west and south of Baghdad.
One or two suicide bombers killed at least 45 people and more than 50 others in Radwaniya during an attack on Sahwa members who had been waiting several days for their paychecks. The bombers may have suffered from Down syndrome. In the past, militant groups have used people with mental handicaps for suicide missions like this.
In Baghdad, one person was killed and three more were wounded during a blast in the Ur district. A bomb in Mansour wounded two people. Also, soldiers raided the Soccer Federation, but the men they were looking for were not there. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has previously expressed concerns that the government is interfering in the team.
Two Sahwa were wounded in attacks south of Baghdad.
Katyusha rockets landed in Tal Afar where they injured two people.
Twenty-three suspects were captured across Basra province.
Two high tension power lines were sabotaged in Anbar province.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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