Updated at 6:50 p.m. EDT, Oct. 30, 2008
As the northern commander of U.S. troops complained about the security situation in Mosul, attacks there continued. Overall, at least seven Iraqis were killed and another 20 were wounded across the country. No Coalition deaths were reported, but the remains of an American civilian missing three years were identified; other remains found are believed to belong to his Kurdish fiancee.
The head of U.S. troops in northern Iraq, Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, said that Mosul’s security has been neglected too long, despite two operations in the city this year. He would like to see an increase in security personnel. The first operation was launched in May after a months-long delay. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had promised residents that troops would clean out al-Qaeda militants late last year, but abruptly chose to launch an ill-fated operation in Basra instead. The operation lead to weeks of fighting between followers of political rival and Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. It ended thanks to a ceasefire brokered with help from Iran. The second operation was launched recently in response to an increase in attacks targeting Christians. Many of those Christians who fled the violence have yet to return.
Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen released a report that estimates private contractors have cost $6 billion or about 12% of the $50 billion set aside for reconstruction in Iraq. In other security news, U.S. officials supplement Iraqi efforts to guard the border by taking biometric information on men entering from Iran
In Mosul, two people were killed and six more were wounded during a roadside bombing at a traffic circle. A suspect was captured after lobbing a grenade at U.S. troops; no casualties were reported. Gunmen killed a policeman in Mansour and a civilian in Jamasa.
In Baghdad, a roadside bomb wounded five people in Fidhiliyah. A car bomb in Hurriya killed one person and wounded five. Security forces captured 39 people and seized a number of weapons, while Coalition forces detained another eight suspects. Also, a body was found in Ur.
Gunmen wounded three members of an Awakening Council (Sahwa) near Buhriz.
A roadside bomb blast in Abu Ajeel wounded a Kurdish policeman.
A weapons cache was found in Hamrim.
A large cache of weapons and ammunition was discovered in Karithiya.
Two men accused of cheating a contractor in Nasariya were captured in Basra.
In Missan, police found two sophisticated rockets.
Syrian troops left their border posts in a response to a controversial U.S. raid on a border town on Sunday.
Also, Palestinian refugees who have been trapped in refuge camps at the Iraq-Syria border for years suffered losses after a heavy rain caused flooding. The refugees were welcomed during the Saddam Hussein regime but found themselves unwanted after the U.S. invasion. No neighboring country will permit them entry, and they cannot return to their former homes.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis