Saturday: 18 Iraqis Killed, 82 Wounded

Updated at 6:05 p.m. EDT, July, 11, 2009

At least 18 Iraqis were killed and 82 more were wounded in the latest round of violence. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki reiterated his call to change the constitution so that the central government increases its share of power. Also, two journalists groups are decrying abuses against journalists.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki again called for changes in the constitution that would mean more power for him and the central government. Similar appeals in the past were met by accusations from rival Shi’ites and Kurds that Maliki would like to be Iraq’s new dictator.

The Iraqi Journalists’ Rights Defense Association and the Journalistic Freedom Observatory (JFO) demanded an investigation after Awakening Council fighters were accused of assaulting one journalist in Baghdad yesterday and detaining another in Anbar province on Monday. Journalists are frequently the targets of harassment or violence, whether it is from militant groups seeking high-profile victims, or Coaltion and Iraqi forces claiming threats to their security. Iraq is the world’s deadliest location for journalists.

Eight people were killed and 50 were wounded in a car bombing in the village of Gugjeli (Kokgli), which is near Mosul. The large blast also demolished several houses. Figures could rise as more information is released.

In Baghdad, four people were killed and 15 more were wounded in a blast at a Karrada billiards hall. Nearby, another blast injured four policemen. A bomb blasted a car carrying a junior cabinet official, killing him and another person. Eleven people were wounded, including the officials wife and children. Late in the evening, a pair of bombs near a Shurta church left the building damaged but harmed no one.

An Iraqi civilian was killed in a head-on collision with a U.S. stryker vehicle. The convoy was described as joint U.S-Iraqi and was returning to a forward operating base near Khalis. In the Stryker, a soldier of an unreported nationality was also injured.

A bomb blast at a Mosul checkpoint left one policeman dead.

A policeman was killed during an attack at a checkpoint west of Mosul in Biaj.

Gunmen killed a civilian in an Abu Ghraib suburb.

Two men who were caught planting a roadside bomb in Kirkuk were detained.

A man and his son were kidnapped in Jalawla.

The Iraqi judiciary issued warrants for two members of the Diyala provincial council. They are accused of terrorism. Past relations between local government officials in Diyala and those in Baghdad have been strained by control issues, so such accusations could merely be harassment. Separately, Diyala police arrested eight suspects.

Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has been covering Iraqi casualties for since 2006.