Updated at 8:45 p.m. EST, Jan. 29, 2009
At least eight Iraqis were killed and five more were wounded in light violence. No Coalition deaths were reported, but the U.S. Army reported that soldier suicide rates hit a new high for the second year in a row. A few attacks were linked to the election. Meanwhile, Blackwater Worldwide has been banned from operating as a security contractor for U.S. personnel due to “improper conduct and excessive use of force;" the company said it could evacuate within 72 hours of receiving orders.
An attack on a polling station in Tuz left a police officer dead and a policeman wounded.
A political candidate and two election workers were found dead in Mandali, just a few hours after they were reported kidnapped.
Gunmen killed a Kurd in Kirkuk.
Two suspects were detained and their hostage was liberated in Husseiniyah.
Suspected al-Qaeda gunmen blew up three homes in Kanaan.
Police have been deployed to a polling station ear Mosul in Hamdaniya ahead of Saturday’s elections.
Four people were detained in Karbala.
In Zubair, Iraqi’s first black candidate is encouraged by U.S. President Obama’s recent win.
The U.S. Army recalled 16,000 pieces of defective body armor.
U.N. officials are hopeful that the number of returning refugees could double to 500,000 in the coming year.
Iraqi officials announced a new student exchange program between U.S. and Iraqi universities. Also, a sofa-sized fiberglass and copper shoe was dedicated to the journalist shoe-lobber, Muntadhar al-Zaidi, in Tikrit.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis