Tensions in Kirkuk are extremely high ahead of a special parliamentary session that will take place tomorrow. No new attacks were reported in the oil-rich, northern city, but at least 16 Iraqis were killed and 18 more were wounded in attacks across Iraq. No Coalition deaths were reported.
Parliament will hold a special session tomorrow to discuss the situation in Kirkuk. Ethnic tensions are high following the passing a provincial elections law by parliament and a bombing in the city on Monday. At issue is a power-sharing scheme that would give more power to Arabs and Turkmen; however, the Kurd majority would prefer annexation into the Kurdish Autonomous Region. No new violence was reported, but eight suspects were captured in an unrelated operation. Also, an oil smuggling operation was stopped.
In Baghdad, a roadside bomb killed one Awakening Council (Sahwa) member and wounded two others. No casualties were reported after a roadside bomb targeting U.S. troops exploded in Jihad. Also, a hostage was liberated.
An Iraqi Islamic Party leader was killed and two aides were wounded after a bomb was planted on their car. The attack occurred west of Baghdad after Friday prayers yesterday.
Five Sahwa members were killed and three more were wounded as they were defusing a roadside bomb near Baquba in Flaijah.
Two bodies were fished out of a river near Kut.
Gunmen shot dead a man in Kifl.
An Iraqi soldier was wounded in a previously reported bombing in Rashad. This brings the total to three dead and two wounded soldiers.
In Karbala, security forces have deployed 40,000 personnel for an upcoming Shi’ite pilgrimage.
U.S. forces captured a dozen suspects across Iraq. Meanwhile, over 10, 000 detainees have been released from U.S. custody. U.S. authorities would like to transfer control of prisoners to Iraqi forces but that has not been feasible so far. Iraqi forces have also been releasing thousands of detainees from overcrowded prisons of their own. Many of the detainees never get charged with crimes.
In Turkey, five village guards were killed in a clash with Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels. The PKK operates out of a mostly uninhabited and ungoverned region in Iraq. They are striving for an autonomous Kurdish state in parts of five countries including Turkey and Iraq.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis