Updated at 4:55 p.m. EST, Nov. 30, 2008
At least five Iraqis were found dead and another two were wounded in an unusually quiet beginning to the workweek. No Coalition deaths were reported either. Still, a number of important news stories came out of Iraq today. The Iraqi court ordered the release a photojournalist in U.S. detention. Meanwhile, the Iraqi government brushed aside criticisms over the U.S.-Iraqi security agreement now awaiting ratification from the presidential council. Also, Iran and Iraq exchanged the remains of soldiers killed during their long war in the 1980s.
An Iraqi court ordered U.S. forces to release an Iraqi photojournalist, being held at Camp Cropper since September, due to lack of evidence against him. It is the third time Ibrahim Jassam Mohammed, who freelances for Reuters, has been held without charges. The U.S. military claims the right to hold Iraqis deemed threats to peace for indefinite amounts of time, even if there is no evidence to support the allegations.
During a ceremony at a Basra border crossing, Iraq and Iran exchanged the remains of 200 Iraqis and 41 Iranians who were killed during the 1980-1988 war between the two nations. Also in Basra, the honor killings continue. Unless they are high profile killings, the murders generally go unreported. At least 81 women were killed this year. Also, 105 suspects, seven of them foreigners, were captured.
U.N. envoy to Iraq Staffan de Mistura said that militants would likely attempt to disrupt provincial elections that will take place in January. Much is at stake then, when the whole political landscape could change, even Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s power base. Rivalry between Shi’ite factions in the south and ongoing disputes between Kurds and Arabs in the north could result in renewed violence.
Mass graves in Albu Toma gave up five more bodies today, bringing the total to 38 victims so far found. Police expect to find more in the area, which has been described as an “al-Qaeda courthouse."
In Baghdad, a National Public Radio journalist and his colleagues were saved from a stick bomb bomb attack by alert soldiers at a nearby checkpoint in a western neighborhood. A similar situation involving a police officer’s car in Adhamiya also occurred. Two security forces were injured during operations that netted 15 suspects. Also, Iraqi security forces confiscated a number of rifles.
Eighteen suspects were arrested in Mosul.
Police in Muthanna received new Humvees.
A new joint emergency services command center was opened in Missan province.
An arms cache was found in Fallujah.
In Kirkuk, 300 soldiers completed their training.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis