Updated at 12:27 a.m. EDT, April 24, 2008
At least 59 Iraqis were killed and 114 more were wounded in the latest violence, much of it involving continued fighting between the Mahdi army and Iraqi security forces. Exact figures are difficult to obtain due to the nature of the clashes. One American soldier was killed during combat operations in Baghdad, while the DOD reported the death of a U.S. soldier from non-combat injuries. The remains of an American contractor who was kidnapped in 2006 were positively identified. Also, a former Iraqi Vice President under Saddam Hussein, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, has possibly been captured.
Lt. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, second in charge of U.S. forces, says he hopes Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr will stop his followers from conducting attacks. This is unlikely to happen unless Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki meets the conditions set forth in recent negotiations, which he has refused to do so far. The fighting began last month after al-Maliki targeted al-Sadr’s followers in Basra under the guise of a security crackdown. The Sadrists and many Western analysts believe the operation was initiated in order to undermine al-Sadr’s political base ahead of elections. The crackdown was a failure, and fighting mostly ended when al-Sadr ordered his followers to observe a unilateral cease-fire he imposed on them last summer.
Sadr City has mostly been shut off from the rest of Baghdad due to the clashes. The casualty counts often conflict, but authorities believe that at least 400 civilians have been killed in Shi’ite suburb. Another 1,720 people were injured. Water, food, medical supplies and other essential items are running dangerously low, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
In Baghdad, clashes in Husseiniyah left seven people were killed and 20 were wounded, including civilians. U.S. forces killed 15 suspects in separate events across Baghdad. Five people were wounded during a roadside bombing in Karrada. Two civilians were wounded during a roadside bombinb in Zaafaraniyah. In Shurta, a roadside bomb injured six people. A roadside bomb in Doura targeted a U.S. patrol, but no casualties were reported. Three civilians were injured during a bombing in Yarmouk. Two gunmen were killed. Also, four bodies were recovered.
In Sadr City, authorities reported that eight civilians were killed and 44 more were wounded.
A coordinated attack in Mosul left four dead and nine injured. First, a suicide bomber detonated his vest. When first responders arrived and car bomb blasted them. In other incidents, another bomb killed one person and injured four others. Nine were injured in yet another bombing.. Three dumped bodies were found. A water employee was shot and killed. A policeman was killed during clashes. Gunmen shot at a private car, killing a man and wounding his wife. Four people were wounded during a mortar attack. Also, U.S. forces killed an al-Qaeda suspect and arrested five more.
The bodies of two oil security personnel were discovered next to oil pipelines near Tikrit.
A roadside bomb in Kirkuk injured two policemen, one an officer.
In Diyala province, 38 detainees were released.
Three dumped bodies were located in Mahmuhdiya.
U.S. forces conducted several raids in the Shurqat region. One suspect was killed, 25 were arrested and a large amount of cash was confiscated.
One suspect was killed and seven were arrested during U.S. raids in al-Jazeera.
Gunmen injured a teacher in Dhulwiya.
Four bodies were found in Muqdadiyah.
In Basra, clashes between the Mahdi army and Iraqi forces continued. Three suspects were arrested.
Mortars in Balad Ruz wounded four people.
Also, Turkish forces bombed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) locations in northern Iraq.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis