Updated at 9:14 p.m. EDT, Aug. 22, 2009
Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims together began Ramadan fasting today, for the first time since the fall of the Saddam regime. The holiday did not stop the violence. At least 12 Iraqis were killed and 11 more were wounded in the latest attacks. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari suspects this week’s deadly bombings in the capital might have been an inside job.
The Iraqi Journalists Rights Defense Association (IJRDA) demanded the release of a photojournalist who was detained apparently for photographing a blast location in Mosul two months ago. Iraqi and U.S. forces have arrested many journalists under similar circumstances and held them for months at a time without trial or just cause.
In Mosul, a bomb blast outside the Qahira neighborhood’s mayoral offices killed the mayor and two young children. Gunmen killed a liquor store merchant. In another shooting, gunmen killed a food caterer who was recently released from Bucca prison. Two girls were shot dead in Jazair. A bomb in western Mosul killed one policeman and wounded three others. In the evening, an unidentified body was found.
In Baghdad, two Iraqi soldiers were killed and another was wounded during a small arms attack on their Adhamiya checkpoint. A bomb in Saidiya wounded two civilians. Because of Wednesday’s blasts, concrete barriers are being restored around strategic locations.
A roadside bomb blast killed an Iraqi soldier and wounded four others in Baquba.
An I.E.D. wounded a soldier in Kirkuk.
Eight suspects were detained in Basra.
Authorities in Wassit province deployed extra security personnel for the first day of Ramadan observances.
Tal Afar has set up a security plan for Ramadan.
Two Naqshabandiya Army member were captured along with three other suspects in Khanaqin.
A suspected a-Qaeda emir was captured in Khalis.