Updated at 5:35 p.m. EDT, Aug. 31, 2009
At least five Iraqis were killed and 50 more were wounded as a Turkish diplomat moderated discussions between Syria and Iraq over the violence in Iraq. Meanwhile, a group of Iraqi MiG fighters were found in Serbia, and al-Hakim’s son formally took over leadership of the SIIC party.
Syrian President Bashar Assad denied that foreign fighters are using his country to launch operations in Iraq and has requested evidence proving the allegation. Diplomats from Syria and Iraq separately met with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to try to ease the tensions that have been building rapidly since bloody bombings in Baghdad almost two weeks ago.
Nineteen MiG fighters that were sent to Yugoslavia in 1989 turned up cannibalized in Serbia where they were stranded due to an embargo; they cannot be repaired, so Iraq is hoping to buy a number of F-16 fighters if the U.S. approves the sale.
Ammar al-Hakim, son of the late Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, took over leadership of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, a major Iraqi political party that recently formed a new coalition with Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s group and other smaller Shi’ite and Sunni parties.
One person was killed and 13 others were wounded when a car bomb exploded in Khanaqin.
In Khalis, a bomb blast targeting a local commissioner wounded him, his son and four bodyguards.
A bomb at a market in Mahmoudiya killed two people and wounded ten others.
In Baghdad, a bomb wounded four people during a bombing in Bab al-Sharji. Five Iraqis wounded were reported after a bomb blasted a U.S. patrol in Rustamiya. Three people were wounded by a blast in Adhamiyah.
In Mosul, a bomb wounded four policemen in Zinjili. Gunmen in Mithaq killed a woman and in a separate event killed a shop owner at a downtown bookstore. A boy was wounded in a bomb blast. Three suspects were arrested in raids. Three soldiers were wounded in a blast in the north. Also, a Katyusa rocket was found and defused.
A civilian was wounded in a drive-by shooting in Arbil.
Ten al-Qaeda suspects were captured near Baquba.
Eight suspects were detained in Basra.
A bomb was defused and a suspect was captured in Amara.
The U.S. army handed over 107 detainees to Iraqi authorities. Less than 9,000 detainees now remain in U.S. custody. A U.S.-Iraqi pact force the U.S. to either hand over detainees to the Iraqis or free them.