Updated at 11:45 p.m. EST, Dec. 20, 2006
New U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made an unannounced
trip to Iraq where he discussed with local military commanders the possibility
of increasing the number of troops there. Meanwhile, President Bush talked
about the need to increase the permanent size of the military during a news
conference this morning. As the troop situation was being discussed three
American servicemembers were killed and six were wounded in separate attacks.
Also, 132 Iraqis were killed or found dead today, and another 64 were injured.
Southwest of Baghdad, an American
servicemember was killed and four others injured when a roadside bomb
blasted them. In a second incident, this time in southern Baghdad, another roadside
an American soldier and wounded two others. Also, the Dept. of Defense
reported that a Marine
was killed yesterday in Anbar province. These events bring the number
of deaths to 66 American servicemembers killed in Iraq during December.
In Baghdad, a car bomber drove his cargo into a police checkpoint near Baghdad
people were killed and 31 injured, including students. Another car bomb
five and wounded 11 in an Adhamiya district Interior Ministry office. Four
more people were wounded by separate car bombs in the Bayaa and Camp Sara
districts. Several other explosions occurred, but no
casualties were reported.
Also in the capital, gunmen killed
Professor Muntathar Mohammed Mehdi, his brother and his cousin; he was a
member of al Sadr’s political movement. A teacher
was gunned down today; his brother was a famous actor who was found dead
yesterday. And six
Sunnis were kidnapped at a fake checkpoint just south of Baghdad. And 76
unidentified bodies were dumped in different sections of the capital.
Gunmen attacked a checkpoint in Khalis; one
Iraqi solder and five gunmen were killed, another three Iraqi soldiers were
In Baiji, a roadside bomb killed
two motorists and wounded three others.
were shot dead and 11
bodies were recovered in different incidents in Mosul. Two
civilians were injured by a roadside bomb east of the city.
bearing gunshot and torture wounds were found in Mahmudiya.
In Kirkuk, a suicide
bomber at a checkpoint killed
one soldier and wounded three others.
was killed in Amara.
Two roadside bombs
were dismantled in Balad Ruz before they could harm anyone.
In Shakori village, gunmen killed two civilians and wounded eight others.
woman was killed and three people, including a 12-year old, were injured
when gunmen used rockets in an attack on a police station in Ramadi.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis