Updated at 12:45 a.m. EDT, Mar. 18, 2008
As U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney took a somewhat secretive visit to Baghdad today, Karbala experienced a major bombing attack that killed dozens of people. Several bomb explosions were also heard across the capital. Overall, 63 Iraqis were killed and about another 111 were wounded across the country. Seven Iranians were killed in the Karbala attack as well. Meanwhile, two American soldiers were killed in an IED attack while on a route-clearing mission north of the capital.
At least 43 people, including seven Iranians were killed in Karbala when an explosion, possibly perpetrated by a female suicide bomber, blasted a coffee shop. Another 73 people were wounded. Meanwhile, Sadrists are asking the central government for relief from persecution by local officials. Followers of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr are observing a unilateral ceasefire but are allowed by him to defend themselves if needed.
In Baghdad, five youngsters were killed and 11 others were wounded when mortar shells fell upon a soccer field. A bomb on a minibus killed three people and wounded 11 in the Karrada district. In Mansour, a bomb killed a policeman and wounded a second one as they were on patrol, and a separate explosion wounded one person. A roadside bomb in Zayouna wounded three people. A policeman was arrested under suspicion of planting a bomb a week ago. Two other roadside bombs left no casualties. Mortars and rockets landing in the Green Zone also left no casualties. Also, three dumped bodies were recovered.
In Mosul, shelling left two wounded in a central neighborhood. A car bomb near a police patrol in western Mosul injured six people. Another bomb left no casualties. Also, three unidentified bodies were discovered.
The bodies of three Awakening Council (Sahwa) members were found in Udhaim.
A policeman was gunned down at a checkpoint in Haditha.
An IED wounded two civilians in Kirkuk.
The U.S. consulate in Babel came under Katyusha rocket attack, but no casualties were reported.
U.S. forces killed two al-Qaeda suspects in central Iraq.
Fallujah police killed an al-Qaeda suspect north of the city.
Four bodies were found in Madaen.
A Sahwa member was injured during an attack on a checkpoint in al-Alam.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis