Updated at 5:15 p.m. EDT, Sept. 15, 2008
The Ramadan surge in bombings continued today with significant bombings in Balad Ruz and Baghdad, but few other attacks made it into the news reports. At least 38 Iraqis were killed and 68 more were wounded overall. Only one report of violence made it out of Mosul, where multiple attacks usually occur on a daily basis. One American soldier died in a non-combat incident as well.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates is in Iraq to officiate at a ceremony where General David Petraeus will hand over command of U.S.-led forces to Lieutenant-General Ray Odierno. Gates took the opportunity to say that the role of U.S. combat troops in Iraq is expected to shrink in the next few months.
A female suicide bomber killed 22 people and wounded 33 others at the home of a police commissioner in Balad Ruz. The commissioner had just been released from U.S. custody and was celebrating the Iftar meal with fellow police.
In Baghdad, a pair of successive bombs in the Karrada district left 13 dead and 35 wounded, many of them Iraqi soldiers. Another bomb in Karrada was defused without casualties. Three dumped bodies were found. Also, two weapons caches were discovered.
Two men were killed in Rutba when the roadside bomb they were suspected of planting blew up.
A solution to the ongoing security stalemate may have been reached in Khanaqin. Lawmakers have announced agreements previously, but have continued to discuss the situation. At issue is the presence of Iraqi army soldiers and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in the city of Khanaqin. The local Kurdish population prefers the Peshmerga, while the central government prefers their soldiers. A previous agreement allowed only Khanaqin police to patrol the city.
Also, an Australian jury found six Muslims guilty of planning a 2005 attack in Melbourne that was meant to force Australian troops to leave Iraq. The attack was not carried out.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis