Updated at 8:53 p.m. EDT, Aug. 18, 2009
At least six Iraqis were killed and 24 more were wounded in the latest violence. Besides a bombing in southern Baghdad, the most significant news to come out of Iraq today dealt with militants. U.S. authorities are releasing a number of Shi’ite militants they would rather keep incarcerated. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki gave Syria a list of suspects he wants extradited to Iraq and asked Syria to help prevent fighters from crossing the border.
P.M. Maliki promised Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, the League of the Righteous, that its members would be released from U.S. custody if they promise to end attacks against Iraqis. The U.S. would rather keep the militants in custody because they may have killed Americans. Last year’s U.S.-Iraq security pact forces the U.S. to free all detainees or hand them over to their Iraqi counterparts. Previously, the U.S. maintained the right to indefinitely hold anyone suspected of simply being a threat to peace. Many were detained for months or years without trial, perhaps never having committed crimes in the first place.
In Mosul, gunmen detonated a bomb, which wounded two of them, wounded two policemen, and also killed a civilian, who had suffered a heart attack due to the shock of the blast. One policeman was killed and another was wounded in a drive-by shooting. A roadside bomb killed a truck driver.
Three bomb experts were wounded as they were defusing a bomb in Tikrit.
Gunmen killed a Christian in Kirkuk.
South of Mosul, a roadside bomb injured a soldier in the Wadi Hajar region.
In Baghdad, two people were killed and 15 were wounded during a blast near a school in the Doura neighborhood. Baghdad Operations Command announced a new security plan that will encompass the Ramadan holiday, which begins Friday.
No casualties were reported after a Katyusha rocket attack at the Basra International Airport, where U.S. forces have a base. More rockets were discovered, and a truck believed used for launching the attack was found near the Shatt al-Arab waterway. Nineteen suspects were arrested in security operations.
Two suspects were detained in Rashad.
An I.E.D. was defused in Fallujah.