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August 16, 2008
Saturday: 9 Iraqis Killed, 16 Wounded

Updated at 11:10 p.m. EDT, Aug. 16, 2008

Shi'ite pilgrims gathered by the hundreds of thousands in Karbala today for the Shabaniyah observance, which culminates tomorrow night. Due to the holiday, there will be less news reports coming out of the country. Across Iraq, at least nine Iraqis were killed and another 16 were wounded, some of them pilgrims heading for the holy city. So far, Karbala has not seen any violence.

In Baghdad, six pilgrims were killed and 11 were wounded during a car bombing near a bus terminal in Shaab. Two hostages were liberated and 37 suspects were detained. In Zaafaraniya, a separate bomb wounded five people.

In Mosul, two men were arrested while planting a roadside bomb.

Iraqi forces killed three suspects in Salam. Another suspect was detained and mortars were confiscated. An "insurgent headquarters" was discovered in a separate region of Missan province.

Fifteen suspects were arrested in Karbala. The city is under heightened security for the Shabaniyah festival, which marks the birth of a ninth century Imam. Last year, heavy clashing led Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to impose a unilateral cease-fire on his followers.

Twelve suspects were arrested in connection with this week's bombing of Shi'ite pilgrims in Iskandariya.

In Diyala, Peshmerga troops will return home to the Kurdish autonomous region and allow the central government to set up security. Diyala remains a highly unstable area despite a recent crackdown. The Peshmerga are former Kurdish fighters who now work for the Kurdish government. The central government says they will be incorporated into the regular army soon. Also, 29 police detainees were freed, but no reason was given for the release.


Compiled by Margaret Griffis

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