Updated at 6:31 p.m. EDT, Oct. 22, 2008
For the fifth day in a row, a mass grave has been discovered. This one contained at least 34 victims. Overall, at least 44 Iraqis were killed and 14 more were wounded in violence across Iraq. No Coaltion deaths were reported. Meanwhile, a Shi’ite cleric has issued a fatwa against a controversial U.S.-Iraqi security pact.
A mass grave was discovered in Qaim, near the Syrian border. Police said it contained at least 34 bodies. Many of the victims are believed to be part of a group of police recruits who went missing three years ago. Two of the dead were women.
In Baghdad, a bomb killed one civilian and wounded three others in Bab al-Sharqi. Near Andalus Square, another bomber injured three more. Two people were wounded during a bombing in Mansour. A bomb planted on a car injured one person in Zaafaraniyah. One dumped body was found. Five large weapons caches were confiscated in Sadr City.
One suspect was killed and another was wounded as they were allegedly planting a bombing in Zamar. Another four people were arrested.
In Balad Ruz, a bomb killed a policeman.
A decapitated body was found in Tuz Khormato. The victim was a Turkman who had been kidnapped a month ago.
Seven suspects were arrested in Hashimiyat village.
A new police station will bring 100 policemen to the Buhriz area.
The head of a tribe and his family repulsed an attack on their home in Basra province.
Thirteen suspects were arrested in villages around Hawija.
U.S. forces in Tikrit captured a suspect.
An al-Qaeda linked group, the Islamic State in Iraq, publicly recognized the death of one of its commanders. The death took place during raids on Oct. 5 in Mosul. U.S. authorities announced the death ten days later. Abu Qaswara al-Maghrebi was a Moroccan who held Swedish citizenship. He was believed to be second in command of the militant group.
Despite an offer of Money from the Iraqi government, most of Mosul’s Christians have refused to return to the city. Thousands fled an upsurge in violence that targeted them.
Ayatollah Kazim al-Hosseini al-Haeri issued a religious edict against a proposed U.S.-Iraqi security pact that will allow U.S. troops to remain in Iraq after December. He declared the pact haram or “forbidden.” The deal has been stalled for months over issues such a solid pullout date for troop and immunity for them in Iraqi courts.
Also, more that 123,000 detainees have been released since February, under a general amnesty law. Many innocent Iraqis are picked up in raids meant to capture terrorists. Some of the detainees spend months, if not years, awaiting trials that never come. The amnesty law allows these innocent detainees a means of escaping the system. Also, some guilty detainees, who are no longer a threat, are released so long as they promise to observe the law. Those prisoners who are guilty of major crimes, such as murder, are unable to claim amnesty under this law and remain jailed.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis