At least 20 Iraqis were killed and 46 more were wounded in new violence. Few attacks were reported, but a double suicide bombing in Tikrit left many casualties.
Ahead of today’s meeting with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki promised that a decision over U.S. troop presence in Iraq would be made soon. The option to keep the troops rests with parliament, but it is expected that Iraq will request the extension. If not, about 46,000 remaining troops will leave the country by the end of the year.
At least 15 people were killed and 38 others were wounded in a double suicide bombing in Tikrit. The first bomber, who used a car, took advantage of a group of soldiers who were waiting outside a bank for their pay, while the second detonated his explosives after first responders arrived. The blasts also affected a neighboring market crowded with Ramadan shoppers. That holiday begins on Monday. A curfew is now in effect.
In Baghdad, one person was killed and eight others were wounded when a car bomb exploded outside a Waziriya liquor store.
Gunmen in Mosul killed two soldiers during an attack on a checkpoint.
Iraqi Kurdish M.P. Aala Talabani is asking that Kurdish Peshmerga troops be allowed back into Diyala province to protect citizens who are targeted for violence. Although Diyala is not one of the provinces that make up Iraqi Kurdistan, the province does have a significant Kurd population. At one time, the Peshmerga fighters had been in charge of security, but a power play between them and the central government forced them out.