Attacks tapered off today, but at least eight Iraqis were killed and 21 more wounded in new violence. Also, a U.S. Dept. of Defense employee of unknown nationality died of unreported causes. Meanwhile, an offer to restart the Mahdi Army was turned down by Iraqi officials, but rogue elements could be operating within the official security forces.
The Iraqi government has rejected an offer from Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to reform his Mahdi Army into official security units; however, Sadr has asked his followers to protect their mosques and themselves following yesterday’s deadly attacks that included bombings near Sadrist centers. Many fear that the return of the Mahdi Army will foment violence instead of quashing it.
The Iraqiya party wants the Iraqi government to reveal the capabilities of the Iraqi army before any U.S. withdrawal, in particular the existence of rogue elements in the forces. A Baghdad provincial councilman warned that families in Abu Ghraib being harassed by an Iraqi Army brigade and considering leaving the area. Sheiks in the area have met with the brigade to reduce tensions.
In Baghdad, a bomb in an Amil marketplace killed three and wounded 19 more. One policeman was wounded during clashes that took place in Mansour.
In Mosul, two civilians were killed separately in the same neighborhood. Two suspects were captured. A policeman was wounded in a small arms attack. A taxi driver was shot dead.
Gunmen killed a Sahwa fighter as he was shopping at a Saidiya marketplace.
A gunman died while in custody in Diyala province. He had been admitted to a hospital because of a kidney infection.
Ninewah Operations Command reassured displaced residents of Tal Afar that security has improved enough for them to return home.
A sticky bomb planted on a university professor’s car in Kirkuk damaged the vehicle but left no casualties.
Twelve suspects were arrested in Basra.