Updated at 7:10 p.m. EDT, Aug. 28, 2008
Two U.S. soldiers died
in separate events today. At least seven Iraqis were killed and 14 more were
wounded as well.Controversy continues to rage over security forces in Kurdish
regions of Diyala province. Elsewhere, Shi'ite cleric al-Sadr has extended a ceasefire.
Meanwhile, U.S. forces detained a senior Iraqi official. Also, the head of the
U.S.-Iraqi security pact negotiating team was replaced.
U.S. soldier was killed today during a roadside bombing in eastern Baghdad.
A second soldier died at a medical facility. He
had been wounded two days ago when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb.
The president of the Kurdish Autonomous region, Masoud Barazani, expressed
his surprise at the emplacement of Iraqi troops in the Khanaqin area. Although
south of the official region and in Diyala province, Khanaqin is heavily Kurdish
and was under the protection of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters until Iraqi troops
forcibly took over in recent days. Iraqi troops backed off briefly but are
again in the process of taking over security operations. The mayor of Khanaqin
had already denounced
the action as politically motivated. Later in the day, Barazani spoke with Iraqi
Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi over the emplacement.
Shi'ite cleric Moqtada
al-Sadr has now indefinitely
extended a cease-fire credited with dramatically reducing violence in Iraq.
The unilateral cease-fire was first imposed last summer and previously renewed
on a six-month basis. Iraqi forces tested the cease-fire last March during a failed
operation in Basra that engulfed southern Iraq and Baghdad in renewed violence.
Clashes ended only after
the Iraqi government was forced to work out a truce with al-Sadr's Mahdi army.
Al-Sadr has now mostly dissolved this armed wing, but is retaining an unknown
number of fighters.
According to a political ally, the head of the Supreme
National Commission for de-Ba'athification was detained
by U.S. forces when he returned from an overseas trip. The Shi'ite official is
charged with leading an Iranian-backed militia that detonated a bomb in a Sadr
City district council meeting last June. The explosion killed four Americans as
well as Iraqis. U.S. forces admitted holding a senior official but declined to
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki replaced
the head of a team negotiating a security agreement with the United States. There
already is a draft agreement waiting to be approved and ratified by the Iraqi
government. U.S. officials, however, say no deal has been reached.
gunmen killed an army colonel
and his spouse in Adil. In Baladiyat, mortars injured
two people. A roadside bomb wounded
five people in an eastern neighborhood. In Karrada, a roadside bomb
wounded two policemen.
Mortars struck the Green Zone without
leaving casualties. Roadside bombs in Mashtal failed
to harm anyone. Also, two
dumped bodies were discovered.
In Mosul, gunmen killed
an off-duty policeman at his Mishahda home.
person was killed and another seven were wounded during a roadside bombing
near a popular market in Kirkuk.
was killed in a roadside bomb blast in Balad Ruz.
Taba, four people were kidnapped.
Morgue officials in Baquba buried
50 unclaimed bodies. The bodies had been recovered in separate locations. Some
or all of these victims may have been previously reported.
by Margaret Griffis