Updated at 6:55 p.m. EST, Nov. 11, 2008
At least 7 Iraqis were killed and another 51 were wounded, mostly during bombing attacks in Baghdad and Mosul. No Coalition deaths were reported. Meanwhile, the fate of a U.S.-Iraqi agreement may rest on support from a political group that has much to lose regardless of the choice they make. Also, Iran conducted war games close to the Iraqi border.
Political observers are waiting to see whether the Supreme Islamic Iraq Council will support a controversial U.S.-Iraqi security agreement. The Council is caught between a rock and a hard place: They need the support of Iran in their power struggle with other Iraqi political groups; however, they fear siding with the Iranians, who oppose the agreement, could negatively impact relations with the United States.
In Baghdad, two bomb blasts targeting newspaper dealers on Palestine Street killed at least three people and wounded 17 others. One person was killed and five more were wounded during shelling in Shabb. A roadside bomb in Tahrir Square wounded six people. In Zaafaraniya, six people were injured during a roadside bombing. Coalition forces killed a suspected member of Katai’b Hezbollah and arrested two others. Also, 61 people, including one Arab, were found guilty of various crimes.
The Imams Bridge, which spans the Tigris River between Adhamiya and Kadhimiya in northern Baghdad, reopened after a three-year closure. It was shut after a deadly stampede killed a thousand Iraqis during a religious observance. Sectarian violence kept the bridge blocked off since then.
In Mosul, a roadside bomb wounded 17 people. Representatives from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office determined that many Christians are returning to Mosul after an increase in security; about a third of families returned to the al-Hamdaniya area alone. Meanwhile, U.S. and Iraqi authorities admit that weekly attacks are now down to less than 70 per week; most of those attacks are not reported in the media. Also, 66 suspects were detained.
A U.S. vehicle accidentally struck and killed a child in Nasariya.
Police near Kut arrested an “Iranian infiltrator.”
In Nasariya, police detained eight suspects.
Turkish bombers continued an aerial attack on suspected PKK targets near the border in northern Iraq.
Meanwhile, the expansion of Kurdish political and military influence threatens to further destabilize northern Iraq. Areas adjacent to the Kurdish Autonomous Region are populated by a number of minorities, and Kurdish political parties are vying for their loyalty. Some Kurds, however, may be using violent methods to institute Kurdish authority.
Also, China and Iraq finalized an oil service deal that will develop an oil field in the south.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis