Updated at 10:25 a.m. EST, Feb. 25, 2008
Suicide bombers using
the Arbaeen religious observance to attack Shi'ite pilgrims, exacted a heavy toll
today in Baghdad and Iskandariya. Meanwhile, fighting continues between Turkish
troops and PKK rebels in northern Iraq. Overall, 75 Iraqis were killed and
another 166 were wounded. The number of Turkish soldiers and PKK rebels killed
is unclear, but could climb into the dozens. Also, two American soldiers were
killed in separate incidents.
Two American soldiers were killed today
in Baghdad. One
soldier was killed during an IED explosion that injured
one Iraqi as well, while the other
American died in a small arms attack.
A suicide bomber stopping
at a refreshment tent in Iskandariya killed
63 pilgrims and
wounded over 100 there, but figures may climb once the U.S. military confirms
the number of casualties. The pilgrims were on their way to Karbala to observe
the Arbaeen. The holiday marks the end of a 40-day mourning period for Imam Hussein,
who was the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed. It is a major holiday in the Shi'ite
religious calendar, and many pilgrims travel to Karbala for observances there.
Refreshement tents are scattered throughout Iraq and are meant to help pilgrims
while on their journey. The holiday has been the scene of large attacks in the
Turkish authorities admitted that eight
more soldiers were killed during clashes with Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)
rebels in northern Iraq. They also said that another 33
rebels were killed. Meanwhile, the PKK gave conflicting reports as to the
number of dead rebels and soldiers, saying they killed
47 Turkish soldiers and shot
down a helicopter. Turkey did admit that a helicopter had become "inoperable."
Due to the geography and climate of the region, claims from either source are
as the Iraqi government asked
Turkey to sit down for talks, Iran has tightened
security along its border in an effort to prevent rebels from staging attacks
from Iranian soil. The Kurdish people live across several countries in the region,
and the PKK have members throughout the area; however, many Kurds do
not sympathize with this separatist movement because of its radical leftist
In Baghdad, gunmen attacked a group of pilgrims after
using a roadside bomb to create chaos; three
were killed and 49 more were wounded as they were traveling through the Doura
district. In a separate incident, a roadside bomb targeting a U.S. patrol in Hurriya
wounded five Iraqis. An IED
in Zafaraniyah injured
two Iraqis. Four
dumped bodies were also found.
In Mosul, a child
was killed during crossfire between gunmen and U.S. forces. In a separate
incident, gunmen killed a man
and wounded another during a drive-by shooting yesterday. Also, an IED near
a bus killed two
electrical workers and wounded three more.
A car bomb in Hawija
Awakening Council member dead and ten others wounded.
killed a suspect and detained
four more during operation in central Iraq.
A car bomb found south
of Karbala was defused
Three hostages were freed
Fifteen detainees were freed
in Fallujah and Garma after authorities were unable to find any
evidence against them.
Also, the Vice President al-Hashimi attempted
to get more unconvicted detainees released from Iraq's prison.
by Margaret Griffis