Updated at 3:05 p.m. EST, Jan. 21, 2009
The discovery of buried bodies in Diyala province inflated the number of reported deaths in Iraq. At least 33 Iraqis were killed, including those found in the graves, and 17 more were wounded. No Coalition deaths were reported, but the scheduled withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq is a hot topic today due to a new president taking the reins in Washington.
Yesterday, U.S. President Barack Obama promised U.S. troops will responsibly leave Iraq and is today meeting with military and security officials to devise a plan for a swift drawdown. Meanwhile, the Iraqi government’s spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, said that the government is willing to see U.S. troops exit the country earlier than stated in a security pact that the two countries agreed to late last year.
Eighteen decayed bodies were found in six separate graves in Khalis. Mass graves are frequently found across Diyala province where al-Qaeda once was a dominant force.
The body of a policeman was discovered in Zubair a day after he was kidnapped.
West of Makhmour, the body of a 40-year old man bearing gunshot wounds was discovered.
A civilian was killed and another was wounded during a roadside bomb blast in Kirkuk.
Near Mosul in Areej village, an I.E.D. wounded two Iraqi soldiers.
An old landmine in Jubeida killed a woman.
Just west of Basra, a roadside bomb blasted an MNF patrol, but no casualties were reported.
Thirteen suspects, three wearing suicide vests, were arrested at a funeral in Qayara. The funeral was for the head of the Iraqi National Dialogue Front who was killed in a suicide bombing this week.
Three oil companies, from Italy, Spain and Japan, submitted bids to win a service contract that will allow one of them to develop an oil field near Nasariya.
Although women are guaranteed access to government positions, few of them are running for seats in upcoming elections.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis