Updated at 7:50 p.m. EST, Jan. 9, 2009
At least 12 Iraqis were killed and another 33 were wounded on a fairly active prayer day. Across Iraq, tens of thousands of demonstrators again protested against the Israeli operation in Gaza. No Coalition deaths were reported, but the U.S. military asserted its right to hold Iraqi prisoners indefinitely. Meanwhile, PM Maliki assured Iraq that militia members were purged from the national police force.
U.S. forces claimed the continued right to hold Iraqi prisoners without charges or trial. A U.S.-Iraqi security pact supposedly ended this controversial military activity; however, the pact contains no mechanism for the transfer of detainees from U.S. to Iraqi hands. The U.S. has held prisoners for months and years without charges claiming that they posed a danger to peace. A number of journalists have been among the high-profile prisoners held without charges. Separately, Outgoing U.S. Vice President Cheney warned that that an ill-planed drawdown in Iraq could lead to renewed violence.
During a speech today, Prime Minister Maliki claimed that Shi’ite militia members no longer infiltrate the national police forces. These “police commandos” took part in the sectarian violence that plagued Iraq since the invasion. On the other hand, few Sunnis have entered the police force and there is still great mistrust of the commandos and the central government itself.
A roadside bomb targeting an Iraqi army patrol in Baiji killed five soldiers and wounded eight more.
In Baghdad, three people were killed and six more were wounded when a bomb targeting worshippers heading to the Zahraa mosque was detonated.
One child was killed and another was wounded during a bombing in Hamrin.
In Mosul, gunmen killed two Iraqi soldiers and wounded a third one at a checkpoint.
At least 16 people were wounded across Basra province during random shootings and shelling. Four more people were already reported injured during overnight shelling.
South of Kirkuk in Touz, a roadside bomb killed one Iraqi soldier and wounded two others.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis