Updated at 5:15 p.m. EST, Dec. 24, 2008
Three U.S. soldiers died in a vehicular accident on an otherwise quiet day in Iraq. At least four Iraqis were also killed and another 26 were wounded in violent attacks. A U.S. Marine was killed on Sunday as well. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is in Ankara for talks on the Kurdistan Worker’s Party. Also, Salvadoran troops will return home at the end of the month when their mandate ends; however, Australia’s will remain.
Prime Minister al-Maliki arrived in Turkey for talks with Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan on eliminating the threat from Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels in northern Iraq. For over two decades the separatist group has fought for an independent, socialist state across Kurdish regions of Iraq, Turkey and other neighboring countries. Thousands have died in the conflict. The PKK, which maintains rebel camps in sparsely populated areas near Turkey from which cross-border attacks are launched, declined an invitation to the meetings, but welcomes the talks.
El Salvador’s president, Tony Saca, said that the Latin American country has decided to end its mission in Iraq, and troops will come home when the U.N. mandate that governs them expires later this month. This news came just as the Iraqi parliament approved a measure that would allow El Salvador’s and other foreign troops to remain in the country. Separately, Australia said its troops would remain in Iraq.
In Fallujah, a roadside bomb planted in front of a sheikh’s house killed three children and wounded four others, including a woman. Four wanted men were captured in connection with other crimes.
In Baghdad, a bomb targeting a patrol wounded six policemen in Jisr Diyala. Two people were wounded when a bomb blew up in Yarmouk.
In Mosul, gunmen wounded an Iraqi sergeant today and wounded two policemen during a shooting yesterday. Four Iraqi soldiers were wounded during a bombing in Insitar.
Seven people were wounded during a bombing in Qayara.
The body of a man was found hung in Anwar al-Sadr.
A bomb was found outside a church in predominantly Christian Tal Keef. No casualties were reported.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis