Update at 7:52 p.m. EST, Mar. 13, 2009
At least six Iraqis were killed and eight more were wounded in the latest violence. Also, the Department of Defense reported the death of a sailor in a non-combat incident. On Feb. 4, the sailor went missing from his ship in the Gulf of Aden. The death is under investigation.
In poltical news, the White House is defending U.S. President Barack Obama’s pick for ambassador to Iraq against complaints that veteran diplomat Chris Hill does not have enough experience with Middle East policy and went too easy on North Korea during nuclear negotiations. Over in Australia, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki assured critics that the new Iraq is not susceptible to terrorism. Meanwhile, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani
Amnesty International asked that 128 scheduled executions be halted because the trials that produced those sentences did not meet international standards. Meanwhile, Shi’ite clerics called for the early release of Muntazer al-Zaidi, the journalist who threw his shoe at then-U.S. President George Bush, and others who oppose the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq.
Gunmen killed a school guard east of Baquba. Afterwards the gunmen clashed with Awakening Council (Sahwa) members. One Sahwa member was injured. In town, a bomb destroyed a photo lab belonging to a man who was recently killed.
Gunmen killed a bus driver in Khanaqin.
No casualties were reported after Katyusha rockets struck the airport in Basra. British troops are stationed at an onsite base there.
Eleven suspects were detained near Fallujah.
Two suspects were arrested in Kut. Their arms cache was seized.
Four suspects were detained in Suwayra.
Four suspects were captured across Missan province. A weapons cache was also seized.
Two gunmen were arrested during a raid in Saidiya.
Three members of the Iranian al-Quds Army were captured in Khalis.
Although a security operation continues in Sinjar, authorities have temporarily lifted a curfew so that the public may attend Friday prayers. Fifteen al-Qaeda suspects were so far detained during the raids. In August 2007, villages near Sinjar were subject to the worst terrorist attack since the U.S. invasion.
Turkish warplanes bombed suspected Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) hideouts in northern Iraq. The Turkish army is also building up its reserves on the border ahead of the spring thaw, which allows the rebels to resume their cross-border attacks. The PKK has fought for an independent Kurdistan in Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Syria and Armenia. Accurate casualty figures from the area are nearly impossible due to the sparse population and difficult geography. Turkish authorities also reported the discovery of a piece of human skull in an "acid well." The victim is believed to be a Kurd who was murdered during the long war between the PKK and Turkey.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis