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March 20, 2009
Friday: 1 US Soldier, 3 Iraqis Killed; 6 Iraqis Wounded

Although the prayer day saw few casualties, tensions were high as thousands of Shi’ites protested the U.S. occupation on the sixth anniversary of the invasion. At least three Iraqis were killed and another six were wounded. Also, a U.S. soldier died from non-combat causes. Meanwhile, a party candidate’s home in Diyala was raided in what could be the start of a new harassment campaign.

U.S. flags burned in Baghdad as thousands of Iraqis protested the continued occupation of their country. Some of the demonstrators said the failure of the U.S. to provide an orderly transition instead of six years of war made celebrating the end of the Saddam Hussein regime impossible. Back in the U.S. antiwar protestors also made their voices heard.

A suicide bomber blew himself up after killing a policeman and wounding two civilians outside a tribal leader’s home near Fallujah. In one report, the bomber shot the victims. A second report said that the two civilians were guards, and all casualties resulted from the blast.

A civilian was killed and another was injured in Jurf al-Sakhar during a small arms attack.

A roadside bomb wounded three people, including two civilians, when it blasted a police patrol in Ramadi.

Diyala police raided the home of a Sunni Iraqi Accord Front’s candidate in Tahreer. According to a party spokesperson, Mohammed al-Jubouri is not a wanted suspect, but police ransacked his home anyway. He further added that the incident was designed to hurt reconciliation efforts. Tensions between Diyala province and the Shi’ite central government are still high, particularly in Kurdish areas. Last year, a concerted harassment campaign was conducted by Iraqi soldiers against local politicians.

Eight al-Qaeda suspects were detained in Baquba, while five bombs were defused across the province.

Forty-eight suspects were detained in raids south of Tikrit.

U.S. forces handed over six detainees to the Kirkuk provincial council after they were cleared of all charges. The U.S. is required to handover or release Iraqi prisoners as part of a S.O.F.A deal that was hammered out last year. The U.S. had maintained the right to hold prisoners indefinitely without trial or even evidence. Some have been held since the beginning of the war.

 

Compiled by Margaret Griffis

 
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