Updated at 6:30 p.m. EDT, Aug. 8, 2008
At least 22 Iraqis were killed and 36 more were wounded in the latest violence. On a positive note, a thousand displaced families have returned to Diyala province. Meanwhile, a Sadrist spokesman warned of the consequences if U.S. forces make no concrete plans to leave Iraq. Also, the UN extended their mandate by one year.
A spokesperson for Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr warned that the Mahdi Army may end a cease-fire if a potential Iraq-U.S. security agreement does not include a troop withdrawal timetable. Sheik Salah al-Obeidi also said that a planned conversion of the Mahdi Army into a social organization is being offered as a carrot to occupying forces for their withdrawal. U.S authorities are wary of the offer, but welcome it. Later, Iraqi officials said that they were close on securing that deal and presented a timetable, but U.S. authorities denied that an agreement on dates had been reached. The tentative schedule would have U.S. troops pull out of all cities next June. Combat troops would leave the country by October 2010, but a few soldiers would remain for no longer than three years after that.
Eight family members were killed when they accidentally set off a an old landmine during construction of a home in a deserted part of Nasariya. As many as nine others may have been wounded. The family may have been Bedouin, and a child may have been playing with the mine when it was detonated.
In Mosul, a body lured four policemen to their deaths and wounded six other people; the body had been placed next to a booby-trapped cart. Gunmen killed Mahmoud Younis and a companion; Younis was the local leader of the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIIP). Also, Iraqi forces killed two gunmen yesterday. Eight police were wounded in a suicide bombing.
Yesterday, a roadside bomb wounded a person in Kirkuk.
A body belonging to a kidnapped taxi driver was found near Suleimaniya in Shahrazoor plain.
Over 1000 displaced families returned to Diyala province during an ongoing operation that also netted nine new suspects. Displaced families are those that were forced to move either internally or internationally due to threats or outright violence. Their return marks an improved security situation.
U.S. forces detained 25 suspects across northern and central Iraq.
Dhi Qar province is setting up a security plan to protect pilgrims traveling for the upcoming Shaabaniya observance.
A new security operation is being planned in Missan province.
In Baghdad, two special groups suspects were detained. Just a couple days after a media frenzy over Iraq not using their oil wealth for reconstruction, the mayor announced a $10 billion plan to rehabilitate the Sadr City suburb.
Citizens of Taza demonstrated against annexation of nearby Kirkuk city to the Kurdish autonomous region.
A large bomb was defused on a highway in Wassit province.
Near Tikrit, a roadside bomb wounded a police chief and seven officers.
A car traveling near a security checkpoint in Shirqat failed to stop. The soldiers fired at the vehicle killing two men and one woman. A second woman, who was injured, said they feared stopping for unknown men that late in the evening.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis