Updated at 6:15 p.m. EST, Feb. 28, 2009
Millions of Shi’ite Muslims are in Karbala today for the Arbaeen religious observance. Violence has been unexpectedly light following attacks on pilgrims earlier in the week. Overall, at least 13 Iraqis were killed and another 12 were wounded in the latest round of violence. Five Arab nationals were killed as well, but no Coalition troop deaths were reported. Meanwhile, U.S. President Bush reiterated the call for Turkish troops to withdraw from northern Iraq quickly.
The Arbaeen festival has gone without a significant hitch in Karbala this year. Although there was a significant bombing on Sunday in Iskandariya, most of the attacks on pilgrims since then have been minor. Three women were arrested for giving away poisoned food; they were among several other people who have been detained.
In Baghdad, two bodies were found dumped in Zayouna. An assassination attempt on a chairman from the Integrity Committee left him and another man injured, also in Zayouna. In Saadoun, an IED injured two people.
An official from the Electric Ministry was kidnapped in Amara.
A captive was freed in Basra.
Three bodies were found in Qaim.
An IED in Habbaniyah left one person dead and two others wounded.
A sniper killed an Awakening Council member in Baquba.
Five homes were set of fire in Mhawla.
The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) claimed to have killed 18 Turkish soldiers, but casualty figures during the Turkish incursion into northern Iraq have remained unverifiable.
Also, a spokesman for the popular committees in Diyala province said they had been asked to dissolve their association. This comes in the wake of complaints and protests by the councils that the police chief in Diyala is a Mahdi Army member. In a separate development, the Fallujah police chief noted that al-Qaeda forces are infiltrating the Awakening Council there.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis