Updated at 6:53 p.m. EDT, March 8, 2009
At least 61 Iraqis
were killed and 84 more were wounded across the country. While a suicide bombing
in Baghdad was the most significant incident of the day, a mass grave gave up
almost as many dead in Khalis. Meanwhile, 12,000 U.S. servicemembers will be receiving
orders to leave Iraq by September. Also, the family of a U.S.-veteran
turned security contractor said that a sniper killed him in Baghdad on
Maj. Gen. David Perkins announced
that 12,000 U.S. and 4,000 British servicemembers will be leaving Iraq by September.
There was no mention whether the troops will be sent home or transferred to Afghanistan.
The U.S. and Iraq agreed to the removal of most troops from Iraqi cities by June
of this year and entirely by 2011; however, President Obama has promised a surge
in troops for Afghanistan.
In Baghdad, 32
people were killed during a suicide bombing at a police academy on Palestine
Street. About 60
more were wounded. Dozens of men hoping to join the police service regularly
gather in front of such academies, making them easy targets for bombers. Over
in Ghazaliya, a roadside bomb wounded
three members of a local Awakening Council. A third bomb, in Allawi,
wounded two civilians. Also,
a man was kidnapped in the
Sadr City suburb.
bodies were recovered from eight separate graves in al-Bu Tima. A number
of mass graves have been found in the Khalis district over the last several months.
Many date to the height of the sectarian violence, when authorities believe al-Qaeda
groups ran their own courts in the area.
In Mosul, one car bomb
three Iraqi soldiers and wounded three more. A second car bomb injured
seven people. Gunmen wounded
two Iraqi soldiers at a checkpoint. A grenade blast wounded
two people. Also, gunmen killed
A bomb blast in Muqdadiyah wounded
In Basra province, 81 suspects were detained.
Twelve suspects were detained
in Dhi Qar.
Thirteen rockets were seized
in Missan province.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis