Updated at 5:11 p.m. EDT, Oct. 24, 2008
At least 10 Iraqis
were killed and two more were injured during light prayer day violence. No
Coalition deaths were reported. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
said that Iraq can make
decisions without Iranian input over a controversial U.S.-Iraqi security pact.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice subtly brought
up the Iran-Iraq war while dismissing Iranian attempts to derail a U.S.-Iraqi
security pact that will allow U.S. troops to remain after December. Iraq needs
to assuage Iranian fears that the U.S. will use Iraq as a launching pad for a
war on their neighboring country. The pact has been stalled for months over issues
such as a definitive pullout date for U.S. troops. Former president of Iran, Akbar
Hashemi Rafsanjani, said
that the U.S. is pressuring Iraq to accept this agreement without the changes
that Baghdad wants.
In Baghdad, U.S. forces detained
Gunmen attacked an army checkpoint near Tuz Khormato.
One Iraqi soldier
and three gunmen were killed, while two more soldiers were injured.
A third person
was killed in yesterday's mortar attack in Kut; all the victims were
children. An old landmine killed
four children in a southwestern area. A body
belonging to a policeman was found south of Kut. Iraqi forces killed an Iranian
and detained another during an incident near the city; the men were carrying ammunition.
Thirteen suspects were arrested
In Hashimiyat, 14 suspects were captured.
Fifteen suspects were arrested
The former head of a Sadrist office in Diwaniya
was arrested on charges of
murder and terrorism. Many Sadrists believe that the Maliki government is targeting
them unfairly for following Maliki's political rival, Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr;
however, many Sadrists have indeed committed crimes, particularly before Sadr
declared a truce with the central government.
Turkish authorities said
that 25 Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels were killed during last week's airstrikes;
however, casualty figures from the area are generally considered unreliable.
A Syrian refugee organization reported
the arrival of 400 Iraqi Christians to Qamhley, just across the border
from Iraq. Iraqi Christians are fleeing Mosul and surrounding areas due to an
increase in violence against them. Most reports have the number of Christian deaths
in October at just over a dozen, but thousands of families have fled
the area already. Some sources suggest that al-Qaeda is behind the attacks, while
other point to internal political problems.
During an interview, Iraqi
Environment Minister Nermeen Othman talked
about the environmental problems that the war has caused.
by Margaret Griffis