Updated at 11:40 p.m. Feb. 7, 2008
Today’s battle in Sadr City may hint at the direction anti-U.S. cleric Moqtada al-Sadr will take when his unilateral ceasefire comes to an end in a few weeks. Although there were few casualties in that clash, the ceasefire is of great importance. Overall, at least 29 Iraqis were killed and another 42 were injured during small incidents mostly in central Iraq. Also, three new U.S. soldier deaths were reported.
A roadside bomb killed an American soldier in Baghdad yesterday. Also, the DOD released the names of two U.S. soldiers who were killed in an incident already reported as having killed a third American troopmember.
In Sadr City, clashes between suspected Mahdi Army militiamen and security forces left as many as three civilians injured, including women and children. One person was killed and sixteen suspects were detained. More importantly though, Moqtada al-Sadr’s reaction may signal that he is willing to extend a six-month ceasefire. The ceasefire is one of, if not the main, reason that attacks are down across the country. At the very least, he is insisting that it be observed until he says otherwise.
In Baghdad, five dumped bodies were discovered. Gunmen killed three government employees and wounded three more during a drive-by shooting. In Mansour, a roadside bomb wounded three policemen as they were attempting to defuse it. A car bomb was found in Hurriyah, where it was safely detonated. Gunmen killed the driver of a car in al-Qahira; the car then crashed and four passengers were slightly injured. Also, two large weapons caches were found in Ghazaliya.
Three Awakening Council members were killed and seven more were wounded when a minibus exploded in Khannasah village, near Madaen. Also, a roadside bomb wounded two policemen.
In Muradiyah, suspected as-Qaeda killed three brothers and wounded five others, after clearing the women and children from the family home. The brothers are believed to be Awakening Council members. In a separate incident, a roadside bomb killed one child and injured four children.
A roadside bomb killed the chief of police in Siniya.
Eight communications towers were set ablaze in Mosul. No casualties were reported. The towers belong to several mobile phone companies. Two police officers were injured during a IED attack this morning. Another three policemen were injured during an IED exposion in Masarif.
A U.S. patrol in Kanaan fired upon a car, killing one passenger and injuring two others.
In al-Dhiba’i village, near Tikrit, gunmen killed four men. One was the brother of a city council member, and another was an engineer at Tikrit University.
Two hostages were freed in Basra, and the kidnappers were detained.
Four children were injured by a bomb as they were shepherding in al-Shaiki.
Near Khalis, U.S. forces killed five suspects. An al-Qaeda suspect was killed in Mosul and six others were detained. Fifteeen suspects were detained in Muqdadiyah. In Tuz Khormato, three more were arrested. In Karbala, another pair of suspects were detained. Also, Iraqi and Polish forces arrested three suspects in Diwaniyah.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis