Updated at 8:29 p.m. EDT, Aug. 20, 2010
At least four Iraqis were killed and eight more were wounded in light violence. Despite the much-reported withdrawal of U.S. combat troops two days ago, a U.S. patrol came under a thermal bomb attack in Kirkuk. No casualties were reported in that incident. The U.S. military says that 52,000 American servicemembers remain in the country.
As leaders of their respective parties, Nouri al-Maliki and Ayad Allawi have resumed discussing an end to the political impasse preventing the seating of the new government. Separately, Shi’ite cleric Abdel-Mahdi al-Karbalae warned of the "dire consequences" if no breakthrough is achieved soon. No party won a clear victory in March elections, but Allawi’s Iraqiya party won by two seats, beating the current prime minister’s State of Law party. Meanwhile, an Iraqiya source said that Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and Ammar al-Hakim met in Tehran to talk over joining their respective movements to Iraqiya.
In Baghdad, the body of the Electoral Commission employee was discovered. Two civilians were killed and six more were wounded during a blast in the Doura neighborhood. Also, rumors persist that the "Shi’ite butcher" has returned to the city.
In Mosul, a suspected al-Qaeda leader was captured.
An Asayesh agent and a gunmen were wounded in a clash in Kirkuk.
A Sahwa leader was killed in Baquba.