Updated at 11:50 p.m. EDT, Mar. 21, 2008
At least 25 Iraqis were killed and 20 were wounded in the latest attacks. Meanwhile, clashes in Kut and Baghdad threaten to end a unilateral ceasefire observed by the Mahdi Army. One American soldier was killed and four more were wounded in a rocket or mortar attack south of the capital.
Clashes between Mahdi Army “outlaws” and police continue in Kut where two policemen and two gunmen were killed in the latest violence. Leaders from the al-Sadr movement have distanced themselves from the fighting and have warned followers that more attacks may be on the way. The violence has also spread to Baghdad and endangers a unilateral ceasefire imposed by Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
No deaths were reported in the Baghdad attacks, but five civilians were wounded, and 17 policemen were briefly held my militiamen. Meanwhile, a legislator from the Sadrist bloc in Parliament accused the government of planning to “liquidate” Sadrists in Babel province. In Diwaniya, 12 Sadrists were detained. Authorities believe the ceasefire is one of the main reasons that violence has subsided in Iraq over the last seven months.
In Mosul, a decapitated body was found, and the body of a policeman was found hours after he was kidnapped. Also, two Iraqi soldiers were wounded in a bomb blast. After gunmen fled Baghdad following the surge of American troops there, Mosul became one of the most dangerous cities in Iraq. Officials say that over a dozen “incidents of violence” occur there on a daily basis. Also, a suspect was arrested in connection with the kidnapping of a Chaldean Catholic priest.
In Yathrib, an Awakening Council (Sahwa) member was injured during an armed attack.
Gunmen broke into a home and killed a man in al-Hoori.
A little boy was injured when an IED blew up near him on a highway between Tikrit and Baghdad.
U.S. forces killed seven suspects and arrested 20 others across northern and central Iraq.
Five suspects were arrested in Basra.
An armed group took over a mosque in Madaen, but no casualties have been reported.
The military base in Diwaniya suffered an rocket attack, but no casualties were reported.
Ammo was discovered near Kirkuk.
In Diyala, 25 suspects were arrested.
Two civilians were wounded in Mandali during an armed attack on their vehicle.
In Della Abbas village, gunmen wounded three policemen.
Four children were injured in Dour when a mortar shell fell in a residential area.
Also, three Kurdish civilians were killed and five were wounded after an argument with police that occurred in Turkey near the Iraqi border.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis
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