Updated at 12:50 p.m. EDT, July 19, 2008
Although Friday is usually
quiet because it is the prayer day, some significant news items were reported.
Two U.S. servicemember deaths were announced. At least five Iraqis were killed
and 19 more were wounded as well. Also, the Pentagon acknowledged
that shoddy contractor work at military bases endangers servicemembers. Meanwhile,
President Bush has agreed
to set a "general time horizon" on U.S. troop reductions but was vague
on how long withdrawal could actually take.
died of natural causes Thursday in Balad. Also, a sailor
died on July 14 of complications from injuries suffered during a 2005 accident
aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
In Mosul, a suicide bomber detonated
his cargo in the Talkeef district, killing
four Iraqi soldiers and wounding seven more. Gunmen attacked a checkpoint
near town, killing one policeman
and wounding three others. Also, nine wanted men were captured.
A roadside bomb in Buhriz wounded
four civilians. Also, a bomb blasted a vehicle driven by an Awakening Council
brother was wounded in the attack.
North of Basra in al-Latif,
a joint MNF-Iraqi force will "track down extremists." Currently, the Multi-National
Force has British troops stationed in Basra.
In Baghdad, three
civilians were wounded during a bomb blast targeting U.S. troops in Habibiya.
U.S. forces captured five
of what it calls "special groups militants" during an operation in Adhamiya.
U.S. officials believe these groups to be backed by Iran, an accusation the Iranians
Iraqi forces deployed troops
across Sadr City ahead of Friday prayers. Weeks of battles following a
misguided security operation headed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ended after
a cease fire declaration was accepted by both sides. Al-Maliki has frequently
tested the truce, but al-Sadr's followers continue to uphold their end of the
deal. They accuse al-Maliki of attempting to undermine their political base ahead
of October elections. Al-Sadr instituted a unilateral cease-fire last summer.
Ten followers of Imam al-Rabani were detained
The transfer of security responsibilities in Anbar
province remains stalled
weeks after a bombing postponed the handover.
An al-Qaeda suspect wearing
women's clothing was captured
oil workers were wounded during an explosion in Tuz Khormato.
by Margaret Griffis