At least 17 Iraqis were killed and 20 more were wounded in the latest violence. Assassinations against government and security officials continued. One of the targets was a high-ranking official caught up in a controversial elections ban last year and may have been ordered killed by one of his political enemies. Also, a 20-year old mass grave was discovered.
Tens of thousands of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s followers gathered in Sadr City to protest the U.S. occupation. Separately, Sadr warned that the militant wing of his movement, the Mahdi Army, would take up arms again and fight U.S. forces if the U.S. military delays its scheduled withdrawal at the end of the year.
In Baghdad, gunmen killed Ali Feisal al-Lami, who was the head of the Accountability and Justice (De-Ba’athification) Committee and an aide to Ahmed Chalabi. During last year’s election, the committee tried to ban hundreds of (mostly Sunni) candidates from running. Many of the political targets were accused of having ties to the illegal political party, but the evidence, if any, was flimsy in many cases. Over the years, he had also spent some time in U.S. detention and been accused of ties to Iran.
Also in Baghdad, gunmen killed a colonel working for the Interior Ministry. Two policemen were wounded when gunmen attacked their checkpoint. A bomb targeting a minibus wounded two people. A policeman was wounded during a blast in Shabb. Mortars struck both the Airport and the Green Zone.
Four soldiers were killed and 11 more were wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up near their patrol in Abu Ghraib.
In Garma, gunmen killed two policemen who were sitting in their vehicle, and then set it on fire. Nearby, a blast killed three officers and wounded their driver.
A roadside bomb blast in Samarra killed three policemen and wounded a fourth.
Two bodies were discovered in Tal Abta.
A police chief was killed and his two bodyguards were wounded in Kirkuk.
In Basra, authorities discovered 12 bodies, but estimated that the grave dated to the 1990-91 Gulf War.
A bomb blast blamed on Kurdish separatists injured seven in Istanbul, Turkey.