Updated at 11:00 p.m EST, Dec. 28, 2006
As millions of Muslims began the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, 80 Iraqis were killed and another 110 wounded in violent attacks throughout Iraq today. Also, two American servicemembers were killed and another two were reported dead, bringing the December total of U.S. dead in Iraq to 102 servicemembers.
A roadside bomb blasted a pair of American soldiers conducting a security patrol on foot; one soldier was killed, the other injured. A Marine was killed in action in Anbar province as well. The Dept of Defense also reported that a soldier was killed on Dec. 25 in when he was struck by an improvised explosive device and a Marine was killed on Dec. 26 while conducting combat operations in Anbar. And in Hit, U.S. forces rescued two kidnap victims. Also, witnesses reported seeing a U.S. helicopter crash in Baquba, but no casualties have been reported.
In Baghdad, 41 unidentified bodies were discovered. Twelve people were killed and 26 wounded when a car bomb exploded at a petrol station near the Shaab stadium. A pair of car bombs killed nine and wounded 43 in the central Baghdad neighborhood of Bab al Sharji. Also, a bomb targeting a police patrol in western Baghdad killed two civilians instead. In Southern Baghdad, two more people were killed by a roadside and four were hurt.
In Kirkuk, gunmen wearing army uniforms shot dead a policeman and wounded a second officer.
Gunmen in Baquba killed a police captain and wounded two other officers in a drive-by shooting.
A roadside bomb wounded three Hawija policemen.
Near the Iranian border at Qazaniya, a bomb killed an Iraqi soldier.
At a police checkpoint in Balad, gunmen killed three three Iraqi troops and wounded eight people, including three civilians.
Gunmen stormed the home of a police officer in Ramadi and shot everyone inside: A woman and a police officer was killed; two children and a male were injured.
One person was killed and three were injured when they were blasted by a roadside bomb in Mahmudiya.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis