Updated at 8:25 p.m. EST, Dec. 25, 2009
At least 27 Iraqis were killed and 83 more were wounded in both Ashura-related violence and other attacks. In northern Iraq, Shabaks and Christians fought over decorations at a church. Meanwhile, a controversial rule that would punish pregnant soldiers was dropped when the U.S. military issued new guidelines for troops in Iraq.
The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. Ray Odierno issued new guidelines for troops serving in Iraq. A controversial rule prohibiting pregnancy or impregnating female servicemembers, which was imposed by a subordinate general just last month, was left out of the new policy. That provision had received substantial criticism when it was revealed to the general public.
A roadside bomb in Sadr City killed six pilgrims and wounded 26 more. The men had been flogging themselves during a procession through this predominantly Shi’ite suburb of Baghdad.
In Sinjar, three Peshmerga fighters were killed and 10 more were wounded during a car bombing. The Peshmerga are Kurdish fighters who are in charge of security in some predominantly Kurdish areas of Iraq.
Three guards were wounded during a scuffle over decorations at a church in Bartala. The incident allegedly began when black drapes hung to mark the Ashura holiday were removed in order to celebrate Christmas Mass, but a second source reported that 100 Shabak minority groups members attacked the church because they believed a Christian had torn up a picture of a Shabak cleric. At least three other people were wounded.
In Mosul, gunmen killed three employees working for the census bureau. An arrest was made in connection with yesterday’s murder of a Christian. A bomb killed one person and wounded another. A strangled corpse was found.
In Baghdad, three Ashura pilgrims were killed and 20 more were wounded when their procession through al-Nasr was interrupted by a roadside bomb blast. A roadside bomb killed one person and wounded five more in al-Shamma’iya. Last night four people were killed and five more were wounded during a mortar attack in Obeidi.
A Baghdad councilman was injured along with an office director and a driver while the councilman was observing Ashura processions near Baghdad in Maamil.
U.S. forces in Tal Abta killed a possibly insane boy who was waving a plastic gun at them. The dead youth was 17-years-old.
In Mansuriya, two bodies were found. They were the mayor’s brothers and had been kidnapped earlier today.
A gunman in Ameriya attacked a motorcade carrying the Anbar province emergency police chief. The chief was not harmed, but the gunman was injured during his capture.
A bomb in Karbala wounded four people last night.
Two bodyguards died of wounds received in Monday’s blast in Tal Afar. The bomb targeted the municipal council head.
In Abu Ghraib, a hand grenade attack wounded two policemen.
No casualties were reported in a bombing in Fallujah.
Authorities in Kirkuk canceled Christmas, partilally in response to a Swiss minaret ban.
In Turkey, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) applied to form a new political party in combination with members of the newly banned Democratic Society Party (DTP). The DTP was banned earlier this month for alleged connection with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebel group.