Wednesday: 15 Iraqis Killed, 64 Wounded

Updated at 5:35 p.m. EDT, Oct. 14, 2009

At least 15 Iraqis were killed and 64 more were wounded in attacks that included bombings in the holy city of Karbala. Meanwhile, the government has released its first official death toll and approved a draft budget.

The Iraqi government released its first official death toll, noting that 85,000 Iraqis lost their lives from 2004 to 2008. Accurate figures are impossible and most attempts are hotly contested. The new toll is likely a conservative figure. Other estimates run well over one million deaths.

Muntadhar al-Zeidi, the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at then-U.S. President George Bush last year, is in Switzerland on a three-month tourist visa. His lawyer, Mauro Poggia, says al-Zaidi will rest and seek treatment for a dental injury he suffered while in custody. Al-Zeidi has withdrawn his previous request for Swiss asylum.

The Iraqi cabinet approved next year’s $67 billion draft budget. Low oil prices have forced budget cuts that may complicate plans for Iraq to take over security from U.S. forces.

A military court has overturned a negligent homicide conviction in the case of a U.S.  Marine reservist accused of killing an Iraqi soldier. The original judge had erred in giving jury instructions.

A series of blasts in Karbala has left six dead and 45 wounded.

In Baghdad, a Shula jewelry store shootout and mortar attack has left as many as eight dead and 14 wounded; seven soldiers were suspended for not protecting the area sufficiently. An imam and his driver were wounded at a mosque in Adhamiya. A sticky bomb wounded three people in Tayaran.

In Mosul, a guard was shot dead at the Sunni endowment directorate. More suspects have been arrested during continuing operations.

One bomb exploded without casualties while another was defused in Kirkuk.

Three suspects were arrested and a bomb was defused in Sinjar.

Officials at Diyala’s immigration department reported that nearly 10,000 internally displaced families have returned home within the province.

Security forces have begun night patrols in Amara after an increase in home thefts.

In Zab, a bomb planted on a checkpoint soldier’s car was removed and safely detonated in a controlled explosion.

Tighter security has prevented the smuggling of sheep and weapons across the Syrian border.

In Tal Afar, a journalist was released from custody. He was arrested for also working in security.

Two bombs targeting a U.S. patrol in Dhi Qar left no casualties. A third bomb was defused.

Author: Margaret Griffis

Margaret Griffis is a journalist from Miami Beach, Florida and has been covering Iraqi casualties for since 2006.