Updated at 10:59 a.m. EST, Nov. 14, 2008
At least 12 Iraqis were killed and 40 more were wounded in the latest violence. One U.S. soldier died this morning of non-combat-related causes as well. Meanwhile, a civilian cargo plane has crashed in the desert near Fallujah, killing seven people. Among the dead were six Russian crew members and an Indian employee.
The Iraqi government has nominated Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for the Nobel Peace Prize, but several politicians have criticized the largely symbolic move. Coincidentally, President Masoud Barzani of the Kurdish Autonomous Region was recently quoted in an interview as saying that “[the Kurds] seem to still be under the influence of a totalitarian regime,” meaning al-Maliki.
Relations between the Kurds and the central government have suffered this year, particularly in Ninewa and Diyala provinces where the Kurds would like to expand their influence. Because Christians are considered the “swing vote” between Arab and Kurdish interests in the border zones, they have been targeted for attacks. Oddly, at the same time, relations between the Kurds and Turkey might be improving. Meanwhile, U.N. special representative Staffan de Mistura condemned the killings of two Christian women in Mosul. Also, U.S. officials publicly wondered if an Iraqi soldier who killed two Americans yesterday in Mosul was an "al-Qaeda infiltrator."
Bulgaria will remove 155 troops from Iraq at the end of December when their mission officially ends. The withdrawal was part of Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev’s 2005 campaign promises. The troops, who are stationed near Baghdad, handle detainee security.
In Baghdad, one person was killed and seven others were wounded when a bomb planted on a minibus exploded as the bus pulled away from the station on Mohamed al-Qassem Street. A roadside bomb wounded six people, including six policemen, on al-Nidhal Street. A police captain was shot and killed. Also, thirty suspects were arrested and over 100 roadside bombs were defused.
In Hamdaniya, a bomb targeting an army patrol killed one person and wounded sixteen others, including five Iraqi soldiers.
A roadside bomb in Latifiya killed one person and wounded two others.
Two gunmen were killed as they attempted to carry out a suicide bombing in Rabeaa.
Two civilians were wounded in a roadside bombing in Makhmour.
A body was found on a highway west of Mosul.
Security forces detained 21 suspects across Diyala province.
Snipers riding motorcycles killed a policeman at a checkpoint in Buhriz.
In Fallujah, a roadside bomb injured two people near a restaurant.
U.S. troops killed one suspect and captured nine others across northern and central Iraq.
Meanwhile, compared Afghanistan to Iraq and said that the situation in Afghanistan is more complicated than Iraq’s and policies that have worked in Iraq will not be easily transferable to Afghanistan. Also, Britain is looking at the use of Snatch Land Rovers after allegations that the vehicle has killed a number of soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis