Updated at 8:34 p.m. EST, Dec. 16, 2008
At least 19 Iraqis were killed and 50 more were wounded in the latest round of violence. No Coalition casualties were reported, but the Iraqi cabinet has drafted a law that will cover British troops remaining in Iraq. Meanwhile a shoe-lobber, who attacked President Bush, may have been beaten while in Iraqi custody. Also, a U.S. group blasted the Iraqi government for tolerable the abuse of religious minorities as the U.S. handed over a number of detainees to Iraqi authorities.
The Iraqi cabinet drafted a law that will allow British troops, among others, to remain after the U.N. mandate that allows them in Iraq expires. The law is similar to a U.S-Iraqi security agreement that was recently passed and also covers personnel from NATO, Australia, El Salvador and Estonia.
An Iraqi journalist who lobbed his shoes at U.S. President Bush two days ago is now in an Iraqi hospital. His brother has learned that Muntazer al-Zaidi has suffered a broken arm and head injuries possibly when security personnel jumped him during the incident. Another brother has said the al-Zaidi was beaten in custody and suffers other injuries. The injuries could not be independently verified. Meanwhile, al-Baghdadiya TV, his employer, reported that he is in good condition. He appeared in court today on charges of "aggression against a president" and faces as many as 15 years in jail. Also, a White House spokesperson said that while President Bush harbors no hard feelings over the incident, it is up to Iraq to determine punishment.
United States Commission on International Religious Freedom accused the Iraqi government of tolerating attacks on religious minorities and declared Iraq to be the most dangerous place on earth for those minorities.
The U.S. handed over 39 detainees described as former members of the Saddam Hussein regime. Also transferred were 10 female prisoners. The top U.N. envoy to Iraq recently urged the Iraqi government to treat the Saddam prisoners fairly as he is worried that they may be tortured. In related news, U.S. officials are worried that the new security pact will thwart their ability to detain suspects.
In Baghdad, a bomb killed three people and wounded as many as 17 others near the Technology Institute. Another bomb near Andalus Square wounded six people. A bomb targeting the Minister of Science and Technology wounded three people, including one bodyguard, instead; the minister was not in the motorcade. A bomb in Qadisiyah left no casualties.
A roadside bomb targeting the Rashad police chief wounded two of his bodyguards instead.
In Saidiya, a sucided bomber killed six people and wounded eight others. A separate bomb killed two people and wounded eight others. Four Iraqi soldiers were killed during a bombing. One civilian was killed and another was wounded during a small arms attack. Also, gunmen killed the leader of an Awakening Council.
Three soldiers were wounded during a bomb attack in Hamrin.
Two people were wounded by a sticky bomb in Kirkuk.
In Mosul, a roadside bomb targeting U.S. troops left one U.S. soldier with injuries.
Karbala police received 50 new Humvee vehicles for their use.
A suspected al-Qaeda leader was detained in Hawija.
A wanted man was arrested in Kut.
Sixteen suspects were arrested across northern and central Iraq.
Both Iranian and Turkish forces independently struck out against suspected Kurdish rebel locations in northern Iraq. Iranian artillery shelled PJAK locations in Suleimaniyah, while the Turkish fighter planes targeted PKK locations in Chuman near Arbil. The PJAK or Party for Free Life of Kurdistan is an offshoot of the better known Kurdistan Workers Party or PKK. Both groups are seeking an autonomous Kurdish homeland across parts of Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria and Armenia. Also, Iranian forces killed two Iraqi smugglers during a chase near the border in Suleimaniyah.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis
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