Updated at 10:40 p.m. EST, Jan. 17, 2008
With just a couple of days to go before the culmination of the Ashuraa observances on Saturday, the holy city of Karbala is already packed with Shi’ite pilgrims, and even more are expected to arrive. Increased Iraqi troops were ordered to the area for security purposes, while curfews are in effect elsewhere. Unsurprisingly though, attacks against Shi’ite Muslims have increased this week, particularly in Diyala province. Overall, 41 Iraqis were killed and 40 were wounded in the latest attacks.
A explosives-laden suicide bomber killed 11 people and wounded another 15 at a Shi’ite mosque in Baquba.
A car bomb outside a Mosul church wounded a policeman and a woman. A policeman was gunned down in a separate incident. Downtown, a civilian was also killed; he was a member of a human rights group. Also, an empty primary school was bombed, but no casualties were reported.
During clashed in Shurqat, two policemen and two gunmen were killed.
In Baghdad, three unidentified bodies were recovered. A lack of news stories from the capital is likely due to curfews and other security measures.
In Sulaiman Bek, a gunman rigging a car bomb managed to only kill himself with it.
One policeman and four civilians were wounded during a bombing in Tikrit. Meanwhile, gunmen killed a police officer and wounded two bodyguards in a separate incident.
In Bishkan, Awakening Council members and gunmen clashed, leaving six dead gunmen and another 13 wounded.
Iraqi authorities fired 173 Basra policemen because of crime allegations. Also, a sheikh escaped an assassination attempt. South of town, one policeman was killed and another was wounded during a shooting near the Ibn al-Jawzi shrine.
A policeman was killed during clashes in an unspecified location in Salah ad Din province.
U.S. forces, including ground and air troops, killed three suspects during a raid in Jalawla. When troops entered the building they found two dead and two injured women. Nearby, a man who ignored orders was killed as he exited a building.
Also, the Iraqi Army took over security of the main highway between Baghdad and Baquba. This stretch of road has been the scene of numerous attacks.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis