Updated at 12:55 a.m. EDT, April 11, 2008
Fighting in Sadr City has subsided dramatically, but violence still took the lives of 68 Iraqis across Iraq. Almost half of them were found in a mass grave. At least 74 Iraqis were wounded as well. An American soldier was killed during an overnight IED attack in Baghdad, and two U.S. soldiers were wounded in separate events. Also, the U.S. government has shifted focus from calling al-Qaeda groups the biggest threat in Iraq.
The U.S. government is now calling Iranian-backed "special groups" the biggest threat to Iraqi democracy. This despite working closely with a party headed by Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, which is also backed by Iran. Typically, "special groups" refers only to rogue Mahdi army elements being supplied with Iranian weaponry, but other Shi’ite groups also receive help from the neighboring country. The decades long power struggle between these and other dominant Shi’ite groups is being aggravated by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s targeting of the Mahdi Army.
A mass grave containing 33 bodies was found in Mahmudiyah. The bodies were found together in a house and appear to have been dead for over a year.
In Baghdad, a U.S. airstrike left five dead and four injured in Sadr City in one attack; two boys were among the dead. Another person was killed and four more were wounded in a second bombing. At least two other people were wounded during these or other air strikes. U.S. forces killed 13 suspects across Baghdad yesterday. No casualties were reported after an IED blasted a U.S. patrol. Also, the Iraqi army blockade of Sadr City will end on Saturday.
In other incidents taking place in the capital, one person was killed and four were wounded during a bombing in a central neighborhood. A roadside bomb near al-Shabb Stadium wounded six people. Two police officers were injured during a bombing near Sheik Abdulqadir al-Gailani Shrine. Three people were wounded when shells blasted their home in Bayaa. Also, two dumped bodies were found.
In Mosul, a pair of bombs killed three policemen and a civilian, while wounded 25 civilians. Amortar barrage left 12 people injured. A bomb injured three people elsewhere. Another bomb injured a woman. Also, gunmen killed one civilian and injured his companion.
U.S. and Iraqi forces raided an al-Sadr office in Numaniya and imposed a curfew on the town. Fifteen people were detained.
In Riyadh, security forces freed a hostage and killed his kidnapper.
Two gunmen were killed in Taji during a Coalition raid.
A weapons cache was found in Diwaniya.
A Ministry of Interior representative and his brother were shot to death while traveling through Tikrit.
The head of the Dor Municipal Council survived an assassination attempt.
A Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) member was kidnapped on a highway between Amian and Ismawa then killed.
The mayor of Yathrib survived a roadside bombing in Balad. Five people were wounded during a firefight that erupted afterwards.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis