Updated at 5:45 p.m. EDT, August 21, 2008
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice dropped in on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki during a secret visit to Baghdad today. As Sadrists demonstrated against her visit, she said that a security pact is close to being finalized. At least 13 Iraqis were killed and 14 more were wounded during the latest attacks. Scores more were arrested, while the U.S. released a journalist in their custody.
The U.S. military released a Reuters photojournalist after holding him over three weeks without charging him. The detention drew a great deal of criticism, as this was the third time the Iraqi journalist was held without charges. U.S. authorities claim that they are allowed to indefinitely hold anyone thought to be a threat.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi Society for Human Rights called on Saudi Arabia to give the 580 Iraqi detainees in their custody better treatment, including fair trials and access to lawyers. This plea came only a couple days after the son of a Sunni lawmaker disappeared into the Iraqi justice system, where thousands are held indefinitely without charges ever being pressed against them.
In Mosul, three bodies were found separately; one was beheaded, while another belonged to a policeman. A policeman was killed during a shootout in a western neighborhood. In northern Mosul, another one policeman was killed and an officer was wounded during clashes. Two policemen were killed in separate incidents downtown. Two suspects were detained in a separate incident.
In Baghdad, security contractors allegedly killed one civilian and wounded another during an incident in Bab al-Sharji. A roadside bomb killed one person and wounded four others in Jamiya. The director of an identification office in Karrada was seriously injured during a shooting. A bomb wounded three civilians, also in Karrada. Gunmen killed one person and wounded another during a drive-by shooting in a central location. Two bodies were found. Mortars struck the Green Zone, but no casualties were reported. One Iraqi soldier was killed and three more were wounded during security operations that netted 147 suspects; some of those arrested may have been captured at the Labor Ministry. Al-Qaeda laid claim to to a bombing that killed a popular Sunni leader on Sunday.
Five suspects were captured in Diyala province.
Four suspects were detained in the greater Kirkuk area.
U.S. forces captured 15 suspects.
Two bombs were defused in Tal Keef.
Six roadside bombs were defused in Amara after security forces discovered them along with other weapons..
Analysts are saying that the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is so weakened at this point that they are stepping up small bombings in Turkey just to stay in the headlines.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis
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