Updated at 6:05 p.m. EDT, Aug. 8, 2008
A large car bomb killed and wounded scores of people in northern Iraq today. Overall, at least 27 Iraqis were killed and another 81 were wounded across the country. Two Marines were killed as well. Meanwhile, Georgia and El Salvador recalled troops, Moqtada al-Sadr disarmed most of his Mahdi Army, and the Kurdish leader visited Kirkuk.
Two Marines were killed in a non-combat related incident in Anbar yesterday. Also, a Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton in California has been ordered to stand trial for the murder of detainees in Fallujah.
A brigade of Georgian troops stationed in Iraq have been called back to the former Soviet Republic as Russian troops entered South Ossetia in a surprise offensive that may be the harbinger of an all-out war between the neighboring countries. South Ossetia is an autonomous region of Georgia that won de facto independence in the 1990s and is home to a large population of Russian citizens. Separately, El Salvador recalled some of its troops home thanks to mproving security in Iraq.
Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has ordered most of his followers to disarm; however, he will maintain an elite fighting force to resist occupation forces should the U.S. not follow a withdrawal timetable. Officials from the Iraqi government say that agreement on an Iraqi-U.S. security pact is imminent. The pact will likely include the timetable al-Sadr demands. The orders were read during today’s prayer services.
Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani traveled to Kirkuk to help ease tensions prohibiting the passage of a provincial elections law by the central government. Shi’ite cleric Ali Sistani advised all concerned parties to continue negotiations that will resolve the impasse.
A roadside bomb in Tal Afar market killed 21 people and wounded 70 others.
Two bodies were discovered in Madaen.
Clashes between gunmen and an Awakening Council (Sahwa) in Mussayab left one Sahwa member dead and four others wounded.
A Sahwa official was shot and killed in Jurf al-Sakhar as he was riding a motorcycle.
In Mosul, an Iraqi soldier was killed during an ambush. Three Iraqi soldiers were injured during a bombing in the Intisar neighborhood. Three hostages were freed. Clashes in Dorat al-Sawass left two gunmen wounded.
Thirty-five suspects were arrested in Babel.
U.S forces detained 10 suspects.
Two activists were arrested near Baquba.
Nine suspects were detained in Basra.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis