Updated at 2:00 p.m. EST, Dec. 23, 2006
As U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates ended his visit to Iraq, the U.S. military reported that five American servicemembers were killed there. Also, at least 36 Iraqis were killed and 15 were wounded in separate attacks. Friday is the Muslim day of prayer, so there is usually less violence.
U.S. military authorities reported that an American soldier was shot to death this morning and another was wounded just west of the capital. Also reported, three Marines and one soldier were killed on Thursday due to “enemy action” in Anbar Province. These deaths bring the monthly total for December to 75 American servicemembers killed. Also, Coalition forces killed a militia member in an unspecified location.
In Baghdad, 12 dumped bodies were found in different sections of the city. A roadside bomb killed one and wounded seven when it exploded near the national theater. Three Sunni worshippers, including Imam Emad Al Shamari, were kidnapped from a mosque in the Bunouk neighborhood right before weekly prayers. Also, militiamen kidnapped three female university students then raped and killed them.
In Kut, police found the body of a hospital worker who had been kidnapped Thursday in Aziziya.
In Samarra, a car bomb exploded in front of the home of Ahmed al-Yaseen, brother of Sunni Accordance Front parliament member Abdel Kareem al-Yaseen; he and his wife were killed and four of his children were wounded. Also, two policemen were killed by a roadside bomb.
A teenager in Haqlaniyah was injured when a roadside bomb exploded under his tractor on Wednesday. Coalition forces transported him for medical treatment, but the teenager later died.
One unidentified body was found in Khalis.
A mortar attack in al Boalwan wounded an unspecified number of villagers, including a 10-year-old boy.
Also, two bodies were found in Diwaniya.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis