Updated at 11:15 a.m. EST, Jan. 29, 2007
In Iraq, at least 452 Iraqis were killed or found dead today and another 182 were injured in various attacks during the festival of Ashura. Three more American servicemembers were killed in separate incidents, and a U.S. helicopter was shot down, killing two more soldiers as well.
The U.S. military reported that a Marine died from wounds he received during combat in Anbar province. Roadside bombs killed a soldier and an MP in separate incidents north of Baghdad as well. Also, a U.S. helicopter was shot down near Najaf; no details about casualties were released.
In Najaf, several clashes are taking place. Police are reporting that about 300 gunmen, three Iraqi soldiers and two policemen were killed and 30 Iraqi security troops have been injured. The cult leader said to be behind this attack was killed in the fighting. Also, a U.S. helicopter supporting Iraqi forces was shot down as well. Many pilgrims heading to Karbala for the holy festival of Ashura are in the area.
The holy festival of Ashura culminates on Tuesday. It marks several historical events, in particular the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson at Karbala. The last few years have seen increased violence associated with the holiday, which Shi’ite Muslims consider a solemn day of mourning. It also marks one of the divisions that separate Shi’ite Muslims from their Sunni brethren.
In Baghdad, 54 unidentified bodies were found dumped in several locations. Five girls were killed and 21 others wounded when mortars fell on the Khalid secondary school in the Adil area; Adil has been the target of dozens of mortars rounds since Friday morning. In Sadr City, a car bomb near a market killed four people and injured 39 others; women were among the casualties. A bomb in a minibus killed one and wounded seven in an eastern neighborhood. At a Bayaa outdoor market, a bomb in a bag killed five and wounded 20, including children. A car bomb in the Qahira area killed two and wounded four others. At least eight other people were killed by a car bombs today.
Also in the capital, an advisor to the Minister of Industry, Adel Abdel-Mohsen, two daughters and three companions were gunned down in the Yarmouk district. Earlier, an adviser for the Agriculture Ministry was also killed in the same area; four others in the vehicle also died. On a road south of the capital, two Iraqi soldiers were killed and four injured when gunmen attacked their patrol.
At a busy market in Kirkuk, a car bomb killed eight and wounded 15 in a mixed Shi’ite-Kurd neighborhood. A suicide car bomber killed eight more and injured 19 near a warehouse in a mostly Kurd area. Two more people were killed by a roadside bomb. A bullet-riddled body was found outside of town.
In Suwayra, three Iraqi soldiers were killed, four soldiers wounded and a militant injured during clashes.
In Iskandariya, two soldiers were killed and two injured when a taxi they were in was sprayed with gunfire.
Two police officers received head injuries during a robbery in Duluiya that netted the thieves over 400 million dinars (US $300,000).
Mortars fell on Hilla where they killed ten people, mostly women and children.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis