At least 312 people were killed today, mostly militants. However, morgue officials in Baghdad suggest the casualty figures are much higher. Also, a senior Sunni politician may have been arrested today. At least 56 were wounded.
The head of the Baghdad Provincial Council, Dr. Riyadh al-Adhadah, was seized by men driving in 10 black S.U.V.s, but it is unclear if the men were security agents or militiamen. Four bodyguards were taken away with him. Adhadah, who is Sunni, was imprisoned on terrorism charges in 2012; but, he claimed innocence. At the time, the Maliki administration was targeting many Sunni leaders for harassment on ginned up charges of supporting terrorism. He and the four bodyguards were later released. The Sunni speaker, Salim al-Jabouri described the situation as a "problem," suggesting he believes it was government harassment.
Morgue workers In Baghdad confirm (Warning: graphic photographs) that the civilian body count is significantly higher now than before the invasion by the Islamic State. At least five extra bodies per day come in with gunshot wounds or other body trauma from unknown but presumably violent causes.
They also say that in recent days they have received about 73 bodies belonging to security personnel. This morgue only receive bodies that could not be identified on the battlefield, so it likely means that even more military deaths are going unreported. The Iraqi government has been tight-lipped about releasing information about battlefield deaths. Many of the confirmed dead, though, are arriving instead at Najaf, where the largest cemetery in the world is located. Officials there process about 60 bodies a day, many of them militiamen.
In Baghdad, the bodies of four men were discovered. At least 11 other bodies were found. A sticky bomb in Qahira left three wounded. One person was killed and five more were wounded in a blast in Husseiniya. A sticky bomb killed an engineer in Jihad.
Six bodies dressed in military garb were discovered in Taji.
Shelling in Falluja left three dead and eight wounded.
Twelve volunteer militiamen were killed in a battle near Baquba.
A battle in Rabeaa left one Peshmerga fighter dead and four more kidnapped.
In Jalawla, a Kurdish commander was killed while another was kidnapped. The number of dead in Thursday’s battle ballooned by 38 militant and 12 Peshmerga deaths; at least 36 Peshmerga members were wounded.
In Rutba, 130 militants were killed in air strikes.
Air strikes in Duluiya killed 29 militants.
Twenty-one militants were killed in the Kilo 5 area of Anbar.
Militants killed 14 other militants in Saidiya.
Seven militants were killed in Garma.
Militants blew up the shrine and mosque of Qadhib al-Ban near Mosul.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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