Updated at 6:52 p.m. EDT, Aug. 20, 2009
A series of bombings just south of Baghdad in Babel province has killed or wounded over 200 people just a day after a similar series of attacks in Baghdad. Unlike the ones in Baghdad, the blasts did not seem to target government buildings. At least three blasts were reported in Mussayab and Mahaweel, but reports are still sketchy. Overall, at least 40 Iraqis were killed and 223 more were wounded across the country. The holy month of Ramadan begins tomorrow with the sighting of the crescent moon.
In the aftermath of yesterday’s surprisingly bloody bombings, Army Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick, who is in charge of training Iraqi security forces, expressed his frustration with the pace of the training. Underscoring his concern was the detention of eleven police and army officers were while investigators determine how the truck bombs entered protected areas.
South of Baghdad in Babel province, a pair of blasts in Mussyab killed 13 people and wounded 130 more.
Five Kurds who were kidnapped from a Jalawla café were found dead hours later. They bore gunshot wounds and were members of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) political party. Two KDP guards were killed and two more were wounded when gunmen attacked their offices.
An explosion in Hilla left no casualties. Earlier a minibus explosion was reported there. It apparently took place in Mahaweel instead.
A roadside bomb in Mosul killed one Iraqi army officer and wounded five others.
A blast in Saidiya wounded three guards in front of the Kurdistan Democratic Party offices
Fifteen suspects were arrested in northern and eastern Basra province.
A suspect was captured in western Basra province, in the village of al-Qebla.
An I.E.D targeting a U.S. patrol in Mansouriya left no casualties.
The Justice Ministry released 112 detainees across the country.