Updated at 7:01 p.m. EST, Feb. 16, 2009
Overall, at least 14 Iraqis were killed, and 41 more were wounded across the country. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said that Iraq’s diplomatic footing with its neighbors is on the mend as its image as an American puppet fades. Also, the Iraqi Monitor of Constitutional Freedom and Bill of Rights reported that 303 Iraqis were killed by U.S. fire last year.
Although several bombings against Shi’ite pilgrims have taken place recently the Interior Minister declared Arbaeen security operations an overall success. Over 60 pilgrims have died, and 170 more were wounded in the last week; however, millions more visited without incident. The holiday ended this morning, but attacks against pilgrims returning home continue. Interestingly, the next major hurdle for religious pilgrims is in the travel industry, where legal issues have prevented the industry from expanding and catering to the millions who travel to Iraq for religious reasons.
A roadside bomb targeting Shi’ite pilgrims on a minibus killed four and wounded 11 others in Sadr City.
Several youngsters in Amara were playing with or near a mortar shell when it exploded. Three children were killed and seven others were wounded.
Six policemen were injured when a roadside bomb blasted them near Mandali.
In Mosul, a bomb killed an Iraqi soldier. Gunmen killed a civilian and wounded another in the Midan neighborhood. Another civilian was shot to death in Jadida. Three people were wounded when a bomb blew up in front of a policeman’s home.
A bomb targeting Shi’ite pilgrims, who where traveling on a road between al-Sada and al-Baawiera villages in Ninewa province, left no casualties.
Five homes were set on fire in Qayara, but no casualties were reported.
Fifteen suspects were detained near Kirkuk.
Eight wanted suspects were captured near Kut.
Seven suspects were detained in Dhi Qar province.
A weapons cache was found in Falluja.
A bomb was defused in Ameriyat al-Fallujah.
Also, the number of Iraqi detainees in U.S. custody has dropped to 14,550 as the U.S. is forced to either release them into Iraqi custody or free them altogether.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis