Update at 7:25 p.m. EST, Dec. 21, 2008
At least seven Iraqis were killed and four more were wounded in the latest attacks. Meanwhile a U.S. soldier died of non-combat related injuries. A Marine died in a non-combat related incident as well.. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said he would not personally sue a shoe-throwing journalist, but reserves the right for the Iraqi government to do so. He is also seeking a way to allow foreign troops to remain in Iraq after the U.N. mandate permitting their presence ends this month.
The Iraqi parliament twice rejected a law this week that would govern non-U.S. troops, including the British; however, they will try again tomorrow after reaching several compromises today. The law could set a July withdrawal date for NATO, Australian, Estonian, Romanian, Salvadoran and British troops. Meanwhile, Gen. Ray Odierno said that U.S. troops, who are governed by a separate pact, would replace departing British troops in southern Iraq next year. At the same time, Iraqi forces will replace U.S. troops in Iraqi cities.
A relative of Saddam Hussein who is known as Chemical Ali is facing a new trial despite having two death sentences against him already.
Although Prime Minister Maliki said he would not due a journalist who threw shoes at visiting U.S. President Bush, it now appears that Muntazer al-Zaidi will sue the guards who arrested him instead. His lawyer reports that al-Zaidi suffered bruises, toothloss and eye injuries after the incident.
Karbala has temporarily banned pictures of religious figures and other images that may spark sectarian violence. Pilgrims are expected to visit the city during the holy month of Muharram.
In Mosul, a suicide bomber killed an Iraqi officer and wounded four soldiers in al-Rifaie. Two Iraqi soliders were killed in a roadside bomb attack yesterday. Also yesterday, gunmen killed a policeman in the al-Sha’areen market.
A public prosecutor was killed during an incident involving U.S. troops in Hilla. The man had been driving near a bridge when he came under fire.
U.S. forces killed a suspect and arrested 28 suspects operations across Iraq.
Joint MNF and Iraqi soldiers confiscated weapons in Baghdad.
Police arrested a man suspected of planting a bomb that wounded four people in Kut yesterday.
Five suspects were detained near Samarra.
Three men suspected of killing a Communist Party official in Kirkuk two days ago were detained.
An arms cache was found in Makhmour.
Iranian refugees living at Camp Ashraf have been again told that the camp will be closed and they must leave the country. U.S. forces had protected the group until last September, when responsibility for the group was handed over to the Iraqis. The Iraqis do not want them because their presence is straining relations with Iran. The group cannot return to Iran because many of them belong to the militant People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran (PMOI) group and could face execution and torture if they go home. No third country has been found to take the approximately 3,500 refugees.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis