Updated at 6:42 p.m. EST, Feb. 18, 2010
A pair of attacks in two major cities took the lion’s share of casualties today. At least 14 Iraqis were killed and 58 more wounded across the country. Meanwhile, many provincial governments and agencies are tightening security ahead of elections, but they have also given journalists more freedom to cover them.
A suicide car bomber struck at an Anbar province government compound in Ramadi. At least 13 people were killed and 26 others were wounded. A vehicle ban is in effect. The suicide bomber may have used a belt instead of a car. Two more belts were recovered.
Three people were wounded during a clash in Suleimaniyah. The clash took place at a political meeting and was blamed on an opposing party.
A sticky bomb in Qayara wounded two people.
A civilian was wounded when gunmen blew-up a home in Amiriyat al-Fallujah.
In Baghdad, the B.O.C. once again removed the requirement for journalists to receive authorizations in order to work. They had previously removed the requirement, but the Iraqi government then re-instated it.
In Kirkuk, a radio journalist was kidnapped. Kurdish Peshmerga detained then released the brother of a Turkmen political party official; the official earlier thought his brother had been kidnapped. A total of 26 suspects were detained over the last ten days during raids. Two suspects were arrested today. Also, three weapons caches were discovered in the greater Kirkuk area, including Hawija and Riyadh.
Wassit province is giving journalists great latitude to cover the upcoming elections.
Tal Afar is imposing a new security plan to protect election centers.