Updated at 8:45 p.m. EST, Mar. 18, 2009
Iraq enjoyed another relatively peaceful day that was marred by the deaths of at least 12 Iraqis. Another 12 Iraqis were wounded. Two skulls were recovered from a suspected mass grave near Basra as well. Meanwhile, the Iraqi Journalists Right Defense Association (IJRDA) reported that 18 journalists died in Iraq last year. Also, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani suggested that Turkey give amnesty to PKK rebels.
Iraqi President Talabani said he believed the quickest way to end the nearly three-decades-old war between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is to grant the rebels amnesty. Talabani made this suggestion during an interview while in Istanbul for an unrelated conference. The PKK wants an independent Kurdish state across part of Turkey, Iraq, and three other countries.
In Mosul, a suicide car bomber killed one policeman and wounded four others near the al-Nabi Younis mosque. Gunmen killed an Iraqi soldier at a checkpoint. Three suspects were detained. Gunmen seriously wounded an immigration employee. Late in the day, gunmen killed a civilian. Gunmen also stormed a home and killed a married couple within.
In Baghdad, a bomb wounded three people in Hurriya. In Karrada, a Katyusha rocket strike injured a woman. Gunmen seriously wounded two Interior Ministy employees traveling on Sadoun Street. A sticky bomb in Shabb injured a policeman. Also, no casualties were reported after a bomb blasted an American patrol. Also, 25 suspects were rounded-up.
A bomb blast killed a married couple working in an orchard in Saidiya. Authorities believe the bomb was leftover from when armed groups controlled the area.
Three people died when a bomb blasted them in Kirkuk. The blast occurred near the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP) offices. Also, police arrested a man wanted in Diyala and his two brothers during an operation.
In the Nahran Omar area near Basra, villagers found a pair of skulls that could date back to the 1991 Shi’ite Uprising. Oil exploration was halted as authorities search for more remains. Other mass graves have been located and dated to the Saddam Hussein era. Tens of thousands of Shi’ites died during the reprisals and relocations that followed.
A roadside bomb blasted a U.S. patrol in northern Basra. No casualties were as yet reported.
Three suspects believed to belong to the al-Naqshbandi group were detained near Kirkuk in the Tarklan region. The group members reportedly are followers of a Sufi sect but they turned into a militant group after the execution of Saddam Hussein.
Three weapons caches were found in Suwayra.
A suspect was arrested north of Hilla.
A special groups leader was captured in Kut.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis