Updated at 8:30 p.m. EDT, April 23, 2010
At least 13 bombs were detonated near Shi’ite targets in Baghdad and Sadr City today, while a Sunni town in Anbar province was the focus of another series of blasts. Overall, at least 75 Iraqis were killed and 303 more were wounded across the country. One U.S. soldier died from non-combat injuries. The attacks came just days after several prominent arrests and killings of militants possibly damaged the al-Qaeda network in Iraq. Last night, Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad Bolani asked remaining al-Qaeda members turn themselves in. The blasts could be in retaliation. Also, a second Navy SEAL has been cleared of wrongdoing in an alleged abuse case.
A triple bombing in Sadr City killed 36 Shi’ite worshippers and wounded about 200 more near a Sadrist compound. Two car bombs and a roadside bomb targeting followers of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr exploded at 1:30 p.m. as they were ending Friday prayers in poor, Baghdad suburb.
In Baghdad, 14 people were killed and 36 more were wounded near a Shi’ite mosque in Amin, which is south of Sadr City and considered a bastion of Sadr support; a bomber was arrested. A bombing at a Shi’ite mosque in Hurriya left eight dead and 19 wounded. A roadside bomb in Zaafaraniya left one dead and 12 wounded. Two people were killed and seven were wounded in Rahmaniya. A bomb blast at a clothing shop in Doura killed one person and wounded six others. Three people were wounded at a marketplace in Karkh.
Nine people was killed and at least 16 people were wounded in predominantly Sunni Khalidiya, which is near Ramadi. Bombs were planted at five houses belonging to policemen and a judge. The judge had heard movement outside his home around 4:00 a.m. and was able to evacuate his family before the bombs exploded. Women and children were among the casualties. One of the dead was a soldier trying to defuse a bomb; the bodies of several militants killed in that blast may still be uncounted. Four suspects were arrested in connection, and a vehicle ban was imposed.
A second Navy SEAL has been cleared of charges in a case stemming from the 2004 deaths of four American contractors. Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Keefe was found not guilty of dereliction of duty, following beating allegations from a militant arrested in connection with the murders. Earlier this week a judge threw out charges for another SEAL involved in the case.
Three army officers were arrested at a secret prison where hundreds of Sunni prisoners were illegally detained and abused. At least 100 detainees were released, while the rest of the 431 prisoners were sent to other prisons. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki denied involvement. Meanwhile, the U.S. military is holding at least 4,000 prisoners in Iraq. The U.S. was obligated to hand them over to the Iraqis at the beginning of 2009 under the U.S.-Iraqi S.O.F.A agreement.
A bomb wounded four in Abu Bakr.
A suspected al-Qaeda leader was arrested in Albu Faraj. His home contained numerous explosives.
A body was discovered in Shurqat.
Nine suspects were arrested in Diyala province.
Sheiks in the area of Abu Ghraib met with local military forces, known as the Muthanna brigade, to discuss reducing tensions in the area.
The international airport in Najaf has reopened.