Updated at 5:11 p.m. EDT, Oct. 24, 2008
At least 10 Iraqis were killed and two more were injured during light prayer day violence. No Coalition deaths were reported. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that Iraq can make decisions without Iranian input over a controversial U.S.-Iraqi security pact.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice subtly brought up the Iran-Iraq war while dismissing Iranian attempts to derail a U.S.-Iraqi security pact that will allow U.S. troops to remain after December. Iraq needs to assuage Iranian fears that the U.S. will use Iraq as a launching pad for a war on their neighboring country. The pact has been stalled for months over issues such as a definitive pullout date for U.S. troops. Former president of Iran, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, said that the U.S. is pressuring Iraq to accept this agreement without the changes that Baghdad wants.
In Baghdad, U.S. forces detained eight suspects.
Gunmen attacked an army checkpoint near Tuz Khormato. One Iraqi soldier and three gunmen were killed, while two more soldiers were injured.
A third person was killed in yesterday’s mortar attack in Kut; all the victims were children. An old landmine killed four children in a southwestern area. A body belonging to a policeman was found south of Kut. Iraqi forces killed an Iranian and detained another during an incident near the city; the men were carrying ammunition.
Thirteen suspects were arrested in Amara.
In Hashimiyat, 14 suspects were captured.
Fifteen suspects were arrested in Mosul.
The former head of a Sadrist office in Diwaniya was arrested on charges of murder and terrorism. Many Sadrists believe that the Maliki government is targeting them unfairly for following Maliki’s political rival, Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr; however, many Sadrists have indeed committed crimes, particularly before Sadr declared a truce with the central government.
Turkish authorities said that 25 Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels were killed during last week’s airstrikes; however, casualty figures from the area are generally considered unreliable.
A Syrian refugee organization reported the arrival of 400 Iraqi Christians to Qamhley, just across the border from Iraq. Iraqi Christians are fleeing Mosul and surrounding areas due to an increase in violence against them. Most reports have the number of Christian deaths in October at just over a dozen, but thousands of families have fled the area already. Some sources suggest that al-Qaeda is behind the attacks, while other point to internal political problems.
During an interview, Iraqi Environment Minister Nermeen Othman talked about the environmental problems that the war has caused.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis