Although the Iraqi government has maintained, in the face of U.S. pressure to retain troops, that Iraqi forces can take over security, they now admit that the air force will need help beyond a Dec. 31 withdrawal date. Border security is another weak spot. Still, there are no plans to extend the U.S. mission.
Three bombs in Kirkuk left one dead and 30 wounded. At least one blast occurred near a fuel tanker.
In Mosul, troops clashed with protesters again, leaving one dead and 21 wounded. The governor blamed Ninewa Operations Command for the "bloodshed" and halted government work for a day in protest of security forces attempting to end the demonstrations. Separately, gunmen killed a policeman.
Three homes were blasted in Hawija killing two people and wounding six others.
Residents in Suleimaniya say that thousands of Iraqi soldiers and other Arab security forces where deployed to the city a few days ago to help end protests against the Kurd government. A security source claims that Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who is a Kurd and belongs two one of two parties that dominate Kurdish politics, ordered the troop increase.
A bus accident in Ramadi left eight Pakistani pilgrims dead and seven wounded. However, when police arrived at the scene, gunmen shot at them. No further casualties were reported.
Two gunmen were detained in Wassit province.