Updated at 4:15 p.m. EST, Nov. 14, 2008
Only two reports of Iraqi casualties came out of Iraq today. In them, three people were wounded. It is the prayer day and many journalists and gunmen take the day off, but this figure is far below normal. Instead, the Associated Press published a report on the difficulty of obtaining accurate casualty figures. Separately, a U.S. soldier died of non-combat-related causes in Anbar yesterday.
Spokesmen for Moqtada al-Sadr read a new statement from the Shi’ite cleric during Friday prayers. In it, Sadr promised to renew attacks against U.S. targets if a proposed security agreement impinges on Iraqi sovereignty. A cease-fire Sadr imposed on his followers last year is credited with reducing American and Iraqi deaths in the country; however, a failed operation instigated by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki earlier this year nearly resulted in civil war. Iraqi troops backed by Americans were unable to stop riots that broke out in Basra and spread north to Sadr City. Only a truce brokered by Iran was able to end the fighting.
U.S. authorities drafted an indictment against six Blackwater Worldwide security guards who were involved in a shooting that left 17 Iraqis dead last year.
A civilian was wounded during a bomb blast in Kirkuk. A weapons cache was discovered separately.
Four al-Qaeda suspects were detained in Balad Ruz.
Two suspects were captured in Kut.
Six suspects were arrested in Amara.
An Iraqi diplomat said that Iraq needed foreign workers and asked the Philippines to lift a ban on sending their citizens to work in Iraq.
Azerbaijan’s parliament voted to remove their peacekeepers from Iraq. Currently, they handle security at a power plant in Hadida. Only one Azerbaijani has been killed in the line of duty.
Three Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels handed themselves over to Turkish authorities, citing inhumane treatment as they reason they left the separatist group.
A Iraqi businessman living abroad was arrested in Arbil eight weeks ago, but he has yet to be charged with a crime. The man was traveling from Britain to Iraq on a business trip when American forces arrested him. His wife believes that American forces are holding him because they mistook a pacemaker prototype for a homemade bomb. Thousands of Iraqis who have not been charged with crimes are in U.S. custody. The military maintains they have the right to indefinitely hold suspects until they believe they no longer threaten the peace.
Meanwhile, an American-style university in Iraqi Kurdistan has so far been successful in providing its students a safe education.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis