Updated at 8:28 p.m. EDT, July 14, 2010
At least 16 Iraqis were killed and 39 more were wounded in the latest round of violence. Meanwhile, U.S. authorities transferred 55 high-level detainees, including Tariq Aziz, to their Iraqi counterparts. Also, Turkey is considering building a new army that will handle their war against PKK rebels.
Tariq Aziz, who was Saddam’s foreign and deputy prime minister as well as a close confidant, is now in Iraqi custody. He had been in U.S. hands since his 2003 capture. For many years, Aziz was the face of Iraq at press conferences and international summits. His lawyer says the 74-year-old Aziz, who is in bad health, now fears for his life.
The handover comes a day before the United States, as part of its drawdown, cedes control of Camp Cropper to Iraq. Another 1,600 prisoners or so will be transferred tomorrow, but 200 will remain in U.S. custody at the request of Iraqi officials. Under a 2008 agreement, the U.S. was required to release all prisoners or transfer them to Iraqi custody. Meanwhile, a man accused of killing British aid worker Margaret Hassan escaped from jail.
Turkey is considering forming a special military unit that will handle operations against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). If so, this will likely mean intensified operations against the PKK’s base camps in northern Iraq. In recent weeks, Turkey responded to the end of the PKK’s unilateral truce by shelling northern Iraq without Iraqi permission. Thousands of civilians have been displaced. One Turkish soldier was killed in the most recent operation, and Turkey has claimed to have killed 46 rebels in the last month.
Two Iraqi soldiers were killed and four more were wounded when gunmen in Abu Ghraib attacked a home being used as an army base.
In Baghdad, a bomb planted on a police car wounded two people in Doura. Gunmen killed a university professor in Qadissiya. Two people were wounded in a sticky bomb blast in New Baghdad last night. A sniper killed a soldier in Karrada. At least three others were wounded in another shooting in Karrada. A judge was killed in a bombing in Yarmouk. A roadside bomb in Adil left two dead and four wounded. In Ghazaliyah, a grenade attack wounded three people. A bombing in Bayaa wounded a Sahwa member. A civil servant was wounded in Binouk when a bomb blasted his car. A journalist escaped an attack.
In Mosul, man was killed and three bodyguards were wounded when a bomb struck a local contractor’s convoy. Gunmen killed a man. Three suspects were killed in a raid. Four people were wounded during a blast in a parking lot. A bomb wounded a soldier.
A booby-trapped house containing a weapons cache was found in Basra.