Updated at 7:00 p.m. EDT, Oct. 23, 2006
With Ramadan over, Sunni Muslims today began to observe the joyous holiday of Eid al-Fitr. Shi’ite Muslims begin this celebration of the end of Ramadan fasting tomorrow. While some Iraqis have used the holiday as an opportunity to end violence, many others are shunning public activities with good reason: at least 43 Iraqis died today and another 42 were injured. Also, a U.S. soldier is missing in Baghdad. Troops are conducting house-to-house searches for the missing GI.
In Baghdad, 52 bodies bearing gunshot wounds were found scattered around the city. In the al-Fadhil neighborhood, gunmen killed four officers from Facility Security Services. A car bomb in the Bab Al-sheikh district killed three, including a police officer, and wounded 13 others. Another car bomb, this time in the Ghazaliya neighborhood, killed two policemen and wounded four others. Near Beirut square, another car bomb killed a civilian and wounded another 13. Just outside the capital yet another car bomb, this one targeting a American military patrol, killed two civilians and wounded five others.
In Amarah, the beheaded, bullet-riddled and severely tortured body of Hussein al-Bahadli was found; he was the brother of a local Mahdi Army leader whose kidnapping by local police last week intensified hostilities between the militia and police. A curfew is currently in place. Elsewhere in town, two police commanders were shot dead. One was killed in front of his home. The other was kidnapped and his body later found dumped. At least two other policemen were also kidnapped and killed.
Five bodies were pulled out of the Tigris River at Suwayra. They were bound, blindfolded, tortured and had their throats slit.
A policeman was killed in Baiji.
In Hit, Coalition forces killed six militiamen and wounded four others.
Also, U.S. forces attacked the offices of the Mahdi Army in Hollah and Diwaniya. No casualties were reported.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis