Updated at 4:25 p.m. EDT, Sept. 30, 2009
The Red Cross warned that considering a death toll of 500 Iraqis every month as being “normal” was overly complacent. Meanwhile, at least seven Iraqis were killed and another 10 were wounded in today’s attacks. Back in the U.S., Vice President Joseph Biden welcomed home his son who spent the last year deployed to Iraq. Also, a U.S. Marine apologized for killing an unarmed Iraqi during the 2004 battle for Fallujah.
Army Gen. Ray Odierno said that 4,000 U.S. troops would be heading home from Iraq next month and asked Congress not to lose sight that Iraq remains a key ally in the region. While that news is, on the surface, a positive development in the planned U.S. drawdown, just a month ago Defense Secretary Robert Gates approved adding 1,000 troops to those already in Iraq, which itself came on top of a significant increase in U.S. contractors. Meanwhile, low oil prices have set back Iraq’s plans to build up its own forces.
In Baghdad, one university student was killed and eight more were wounded during a blast in Abu Dsheer. A bomb in Adhamiya killed a man and wounded his wife.
Three soldiers were killed and a fourth one was wounded during an attack on the checkpoint in Mahmoudiya.
A woman’s body bearing gunshot wounds was discovered north of Mosul. A bomb targeting a professor’s home in the city left no casualties.
In rare news out of Basra, a woman’s body was found bearing multiple stab wounds.
A Kirkuk kidnap victim was released after gunmen beat him up and set his car ablaze. Separately, eight suspects were arrested south of the city.
The Defense Ministry denied that Tal Abta had fallen into terrorists’ hands and assured the public that security forces were deployed to the region.