Updated at 5:18 p.m. EDT, Aug. 23, 2008
At least 49 Iraqis were killed or found dead and another 90 were wounded in the latest attacks. A security operation is Diyala province continues to be the source of controversy as troops seemingly spend more time harassing people instead of rounding up criminals. No Coalition deaths were reported.
A representative from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan lodged a formal complaint against the Iraqi army after troops raided a Peshmerga base in Qurat Tabba. The central government recently implemented a security operation against militia groups in Diyala and ordered the Kurdish fighters to remove themselves back to the Kurdish Autonomous Region. Although the city is in Diyala province, the Peshmerga fighters had been keeping the peace in that area. Iraqi forces had already taken over security, but an agreement allowed the Peshmerga to take their time in evacuating men and materials. For unknown reasons, the troops ignored the agreement. Coincidentally, a rogue force of Iraqi troops stormed the provincial governor’s office only last week.
Also in Diyala province, security forces have released at least 88 detainees captured during the Bashaer al-Kheir security operation. As of a week ago only 460 people had been captured during the operation. Several hundred more people “who have no innocents’ bloods on their hands” surrendered as well. The large proportion of presumably innocent detainees highlights only one significant problem with the controversial operation: it was widely publicized before implementation, giving gunmen enough time to flee the area before security forces arrived.
At least 25 people were killed and 29 more were wounded when a suicide bomber attacked a group of people celebrating the release of detainee from Camp Bucca. The incident happened on the outskirts of Baghdad near Abu Ghraib. The wounded were taken to a Fallujah hospital.
In Baghdad, a bomb in al-Nahda exploded, drawing first responders to a second bomb blast; at least four were killed and 15 more were wounded in the double explosion. An IED near the Diyala Bridge killed three people and wounded 10 more in southern Baghdad. Another pair of bombs killed two people and wounded seven in Beirut Square, east Baghdad. Two people were wounded by a roadside bomb in Doura. A hostage was freed and his abductors were captured. No casualties were reported during an I.E.D. blast in Shabb. One unidentified body was found. Also, a suspected aide to al-Qaeda leader in Iraq Abu Omar al-Boghdadi was captured, and another 27 suspects were detained separately. A missile launchpad was located and dismantled.
A roadside bomb near Balad Ruz killed four Iraqi soldiers and wounded eight more.
Gunmen killed three people and wounded seven others during a shootout in central Baquba. Also, the city entrances are locked down after police captured a female suicide bomber before she could detonate her explosives.
Three people were killed and five more were wounded when a roadside bomb blasted them near Baquba.
Two bodies were fished out of the Tigris River near Suwayra. An extensive irrigation system there supplies nearby farming areas with water, but it often catches dumped bodies as well.
In Hilla, gunmen wounded two people.
A vehicle ban is in effect in Missan province, after a Katyusha rocket attack occurred there last week.
Dozens demonstrated against government corruption in Samawa.
U.S. troops came under attack in Basra, but no casualties were reported. Although Basra is supposed to be under the authority of British forces, U.S. troops have been stationed there since Prime Minister al-Maliki ordered a surprise security operation. Oddly, Maliki went into Basra only a day after rejecting British plans to implement peace plans there, and then called on U.S. troops when the operation went awry.
Also in Basra, gunmen ambushed Shi’ite cleric Haider al-Saymari as he was on his way back to Qom, Iran. The Iraqi-born cleric was wounded, but his family was left unharmed. They had been participating in a religious ceremony earlier in the month. Al-Saymari is part of a moderate group led by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis