Friday: 1 Marine, 8 Iraqis Killed; 26 Iraqis Wounded

Updated at 8:04 p.m. EST, Dec. 11, 2009

At least eight Iraqis were killed and 26 more were wounded in prayer day attacks. U.S. Defense Secretary Gates met with Iraqi officials and U.S. servicemembers during his trip through Iraq. Meanwhile, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that he supported the removal of Saddam Hussein even though the basis for the ourster, weapons of mass destruction, was never found. Also, the Department of Defense announced the Tuesday death of a U.S. Marine from unknown casuses.

Secretary Gates not only met with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other Iraqi leaders, he also hosted a town meeting with 300 servicemembers at a base near Kirkuk. During his meeting with Maliki, the prime minister asked him to provide Iraqis with modern weapons. Gates also spoke on sectarian tensions between Kurd and Arab Iraqis. Although he called tensions in Kirkuk still worrisome, he believes relations are getting better.

Six Iraqis were killed and 21 were wounded in two blasts south of Baghdad. The first bomb was detonated at a shop in Yusufiya. When first responders arrived, a second explosion left more casualties.

In Baghdad, a police officer was killed and three relatives were wounded when a bomb planted on his car exploded.

An Iraqi soldier is in critical condition after gunmen attacked him in Kirkuk.

One civilian was wounded when a roadside bomb exploded in Hilla.

Police in Huwaiyja arrested 12 suspects. One of the suspects allegedly killed himself after confessing.

A raid on Kurdish rebels in southeast Turkey left three Turkish soldiers wounded. The Turkish government has said it is working on a peace plan that would include giving Kurdish citizens increase rights, but it is also continuing to implement operations against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels. The PKK has waged a guerilla war against Turkey for the last two decades, but in recent months declared a unilateral truce. Many members recently turned themselves over to Turkish authorities as a token of peace.

Author: Margaret Griffis

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