Updated at 5:31 p.m. EST, Mar. 25, 2009
At least eight Iraqis were killed and 21 more were wounded in the latest attacks, but no Coalition deaths were reported. U.S. authorities admitted that there has been an uptick in violence as they hand over security operation to their Iraqi counterparts. Meanwhile, Turkey and Iran shelled locations in northern Iraq in their separate campaigns against Kurdish rebel groups.
U.S. authorities reported an uptick in violence south of Baghdad but added that the surge is not enough to endanger plans for the U.S. withdrawal. These new attacks are focused on the Iraqi forces, which are slowly taking over security operations. The attackers are now using magnetic or “sticky” bombs attached to specific vehicles. In the past, they preferred simple roadside bombs.
If true, many of these new attacks have not been reported in the regular media. The reduction in overall violence has also meant a reduction in the number of journalists covering Iraq from within the country. This means that many small attacks, especially those without casualties, go unreported to the public. The exact area was not specified, but it could be an area once known as the “Triangle of Death” which includes Hilla and Iskandariya. That area had gone without reported attacks until recently.
Anbar province has also seen a recent uptick in attacks, so the Interior Ministry has issued police there walkie-talkies and bomb detection devices.
Turkey shelled border villages in northern Iraq even as Turkish President Abdullah Gul held meetings in Baghdad to improve relations between the two countries. The targets were suspected Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebel hideouts. Witnesses say that the bombing left no physical casualties, but many villagers were terrified. Iran also shelled northern Iraq. An offshoot of the PKK, Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK), is holed up in Suleimaniyah where they can stage attacks on Iranian targets.
In Mosul, a bomb attack on a U.S. patrol near a primary school left three children dead and seven more wounded. One person was killed in a separate bombing that left an unknown number of wounded. A possible third bomb wounded four people, including a policeman. The dumped body of a Yazidi man was discovered. Gunmen killed a woman during an overnight home invasion. Also, two bombs were successfully defused.
In Baghdad, a roadside bomb blast near a Qahira clinic wounded five people. Four were wounded during a blast in Adhamiya. 20 suspects were detained and nine bombs were defused. Six displaced families returned home, but the vast majority of internal refugees remain too frightened of sectarian violence to return home. A major road in the Green Zone could be reopened to the public.
Several people were wounded during a bombing in Diyala province that targeted a government official. At least one person was critically wounded.
Gunmen killed an Awakening Council (Sahwa) leader north of Baghdad.
A body was found in Makhmour.
Three suspects were arrested in Hayy.
Four suspects were arrested in Amara.
Police hauled in 10 suspects, a number of weapons, and the usual unlicensed vehicles during another day of security operations in Basra.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis