Updated at 5:20 p.m. EDT, Oct. 17, 2008
A spate of bombings opened the workweek in Baghdad. At least 10 Iraqis were killed and another 25 were wounded across the country. Meanwhile, the Shi’ite coalition in government suggested that a potential security pact with the U.S. needs more discussion and amendments. Also, the new British defense secretary is in Baghdad to discuss a similar deal for British troops.
The Shi’ite Coalition, lead by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, has said that a U.S-Iraqi security pact, supposedly in its final draft, will need more amendments before they approve it. The deal has been in discussions for months, but in recent weeks, news stories falsely trumpeting a finalized deal have made the headlines. Among the snags are immunity for U.S. troops, a solid pullout date for American servicemembers and assurance of Iraqi sovereignty. Political rival Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has condemned the security deal.
British Defense Secretary John Hutton met Prime Minister al-Maliki to negotiate a new pact during his first trip to Baghdad today. Al-Maliki recently suggested British troops leave Iraq as their usefulness in security is over; however, al-Maliki has been angry with the British since last year when the British made a secret deal with Maliki’s political rivals.
In Baghdad, a roadside bomb targeting a police patrol near a petrol station in Zaafaraniya killed two people and wounded ten more. A second bomb exploded nearby shortly afterwards, wounding another seven people. A third bomb wounded five people in Ghazaliya. Police in Karrada were able to defuse a fifth bomb. One dumped body was found in Amin. Also, Coalition forces detained four Hezbollah Brigades suspects.
Five men were killed in Balad when gunmen attacked the home of an Awakening Council (Sahwa) leader. Two women and a child were also wounded. There is no word as to whether all the casualties belonged to the same family. The leader of the U.S-backed security group was among the dead.
In Mosul, two suspects were detained. The Human Rights Ministry declared that the exodus of Christians from the city has stopped, but they will not be allowed to return until the city is secure. About, 2,270 families have registered themselves as displaced. Any of a number of political factions or even al-Qaeda could be behind the attempted ethnic cleansing.
Gunmen killed a policeman in Zanjili.
In Bartala, gunmen killed a guard working for the Kurdistan’s Democratic Party. The dead man’s son was kidnapped six months ago.
A suspected Islamic State in Iraq leader was picked up in Hawija.
Eight suspects were arrested in Dhi Qar province.
An al-Qaeda commander was detained in Mijadad.
In Suwayra, 75 families were able to return to their former homes. The area used to be a haven for gunmen, and bodies were frequently dumped in the complex irrigation system.
A body belonging to the son of a Samarra municipal council was among those discovered yesterday in a mass grave. Authorities believe the group was killed sometime last year.
Turkey continued its air assault against suspected Kurdistan Rebel Party (PKK) targets in northern Iraq. This latest campaign began two weeks ago when PKK separatists conducted a particularly bloody assault against Turkish troops. Turkey believes the attack was staged from rebel hideouts across the border in Iraq, but the PKK has denied this.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis