Updated at 6:50 p.m. EDT, July 31, 2008
At least 20 Iraqis were killed
and 21 more were wounded in the latest violence. Among the dead are a Samarra
family who were unarmed at the time U.S. troops attacked them in their home. Two
U.S. servicemembers were killed in separate events. Meanwhile, President Bush
said that reduced violence
may mean that U.S. troops can leave Iraq earlier, but he also warned that progress
could easily reverse itself.
soldier died after being taken off life-support in Bethesda, Maryland;
he had been injured July 22 during a roadside bombing in Taji. Another soldier
died on non-combat causes in northern Iraq today.
During an operation
in Samarra, U.S. troops killed
a woman and her two sons during a raid on their home; her
daughter was also injured. The entire family was unarmed, but the military
insisted that gunshots had come from the area. They also arrested
an admitted explosives expert in the area. These are only the latest careless
deaths caused by troopmembers in recent weeks. Separately, a roadside bomb targeting
an Awakening Council (Sahwa) patrol killed
three members and wounded two more .
The U.S. military detained
an Iraqi photojournalist when he arrived at the Green Zone to apply for a U.S.
military press card. This is the third time the man, who also works for British
Broadcasting Corp. and National Public Radio, has been held by authorities. Under
the U.N. mandate, U.S. forces are allowed to detain anyone who may pose a threat
to security, but several journalists have been held for long periods under such
circumstances without ever being charged with a crime. Reuters is asking the military
to quickly provide evidence relating to the detention.
of the Kirkuk provincial council called
for the area to join the Kurdistan Autonomous Region. Kurds consider the city
of Kirkuk to be the ancient capital of Kurdistan; however, the region is also
home to Turkmen, Arabs and other minority groups who wish to remain under the
authority of the central government. Also, the head of the United Nations Assistance
Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Stefan de Mistura, has suggested postponing elections
in Kirkuk. Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he opposes
the joining of Kirkuk with Kurdistan. Turkey is caught up with its own Kurdish
separatists who have launched violent attacks on Turkey from their border area
Residents of Duhuk staged
a protest against the provincial elections law that would not only allow elections
to take place, but also create a power sharing scheme between multi-ethnic groups
in northern Iraq. They sent
a letter to parliament. This is the same law that has increased ethnic tensions
in the city of Kirkuk.
In Mosul, a judge
and bodyguard injured yesterday have since died. The bodies
of two women who were shot in the head were found in Mithaq. Elsewhere,
woman was found beheaded and left with a knife stuck in her. An off-duty Iraqi
soldier was killed yesterday. Mortars struck buildings housing two separate
television stations, but no
casualties were reported. Also, a car bomb was safely defused.
Mosul in Shaheed, a suicide bomber killed
three policemen and wounded four when he crashed into the wall of a police
people were injured when a pair of coordinated car bombs were detonated in
Kukjli, which is to the east of Mosul.
In Baghdad, three
people were wounded during a bombing. Security forces arrested
a man in connection with a blast at an M.P.'s home. Another five men were detained
elsewhere. Also, three
dumped bodies were found.
soldiers were wounded during a roadside bomb attack in Madaen.
between gunmen and Sahwa members of an in al-Waib, left one
Sahwa member dead.
A roadside bomb killed
a policeman in Tal Afar.
Iraqi security forces raided
an al-Sadr office in Kut and arrested a security guard. Elsewhere, a suspect
and weapons were confiscated. Three Sahwa members were detained
at their offices as well.
Near Baquba, twelve policemen were arrested
for collaborating with the enemy.
Four suspects were detained
Four suspects were arrested
in Nasariya. Weapons were also confiscated.
A curfew in Diyala province has been lifted.
At least 189 suspects were arrested
during a security operation designed to rid the violent province of gunmen. One
captured suspect is thought
to be a "media expert" for al-Qaeda.
U.S. forces captured
five al-Qaeda suspects in northern and central Iraq.
by Margaret Griffis