At least six Iraqis were killed and 27 were wounded in the latest violence, which also left one U.S. soldier dead. Because of a Shi’ite religious observance that climaxes tomorrow, reports are likely undercounting casualties to a greater extent than normal.
One U.S. soldier was killed in a non-combat incident in southern Iraq, bringing June’s total to an alarming 12 dead. Only yesterday, two other soldiers were killed in an attack. Despite the scheduled drawdown, Iraq remains a hostile place for U.S. troops. The family of a recently killed soldier said they had received a phone call from him just days earlier when he warned his father that he and fellow troops were "in a dangerous place."
In Anbar province, perennial tensions between local security forces and the Iraqi Army have heightened in recent weeks, particularly in Ramadi where army forces recently killed a police commander — who had once fought alongside U.S. forces against al-Qaeda — on what local leaders say were trumped-up charges of terrorism. Meanwhile, police arrested an alleged electricity minister for al-Qaeda in Iraq just outside of town.
The Promised Day Brigade within the Mahdi Army claimed responsibility for a series of rocket attacks against U.S. bases.
The jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan, sent a peace proposal to Turkish leaders in Ankara. Although the PKK’s main conflict is with Turkey, the group is based in northern Iraq.
In Bazawia, a car bomb killed three civilians and wounded four policemen.
Gunmen killed a Shabak man in Bartilla.
In Buhriz, gunmen wounded a Sahwa member.
A Katyusha rocket struck near an oil refinery in Zubayr.
Seventeen suspects were captured in Basra province. Basra police reported that they have detained 2,312 suspects over the first six months of the year. Arrests in Basra have long been the subject of criticism. Police have been known to make mass arrests whenever an incident occurs within the province. In other cases, the detentions are believed to be a form of harassment between rival groups.