Updated at 9:55 p.m. EDT, Oct. 20, 2006
As hostilities between the Mahdi Army and local police in the Maysan Province grew in intensity, today’s number of reported casualties in Iraq climbed to 52 dead and 120 injured. Also, a U.S. soldier was killed early this morning when his vehicle was struck by an explosive device.
Southwest of Baghdad, a bomb blast struck a vehicle in which an American soldier was riding, killing him. In the Risala district of the capital, U.S. forces raided a Shi’ite mosque after an explosion within the building; one person was killed. An explosive device at the Sulaikh crossing injured two policemen. Also, a roadside bomb killed one civilian and wounded three others in the Doura district.
Twenty-five were killed and 97 injured in police clashes with the Mahdi Army at several police stations in Amarah today. The Iraqi army and British forces lent support to the police. Earlier this week, the death of Ali Qassim al-Tamimi, a police intelligence officer, and the retaliatory kidnapping of a Mahdi leader’s brother triggered an increase in violence in the southern province, which culminated in today’s multiple attacks. Witnesses say that hundreds of militiamen were involved.
Fifteen mortars fell on Balad, killing nine and injuring 12. Outside the city, militiamen attacked two Sunni villages, but casualty figures were not released.
Gunmen killed a worker and three others who work at a U.S. base near Baiji.
Former police chief, Brigadier Sabar al-Janabi was killed in front of his Falluja home.
Gunmen killed three and wounded three others in Khalis.
Two militia members were killed by coalition forces in Muqdadiyah.
In Aziziyah, gunmen stormed a home and killed nine members of a Shi’ite family.
In other deaths, an inmate at Camp Bucca died yesterday of natural causes. This is the second death there this month.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis