Updated at 11:47 p.m. EST, Dec. 31, 2008
At midnight Baghdad time,
foreign troops came
under the authority of Iraqi officials. The number of violent attacks on the last
day of a U.N. mandate however points to the fragility of Iraqi peace. At least
14 Iraqis were killed and another 70 were wounded. Two U.S. soldiers were also
killed in separate attacks.
U.S officials vacated
a Green Zone palace ahead of the handover of security to Iraqi forces.
The U.N. mandate that authorized the placement of troops in Iraq expires
at midnight. To cover the continued presence of troops, Iraq has signed security
agreements with the U.S., U.K and Australia.
soldier died of combat wounded in Balad, meanwhile another U.S.
soldier died in a mortar attack in Baghdad.
A car bomb
in Sinjar killed
four people and wounded 45 others. The Yazidi, who belong to a small pre-Islamic
sect frequently targeted by militants, make up the bulk of the population in Sinjar.
Last year, over 500 people were killed
in one incident targeting the group.
In Mosul, a pair of bombs targeting
four bystanders and wounded 20 others. Gunmen
killed a candidate in upcoming elections; one
policeman was killed and another was wounded during the ensuing chase. Two
bodies were discovered.
Iraqi soldiers were killed and two others were wounded during a roadside bomb
attack in Khanaqin.
A sticky bomb killed
two civilians in Mussayab.
policemen were wounded as they tried to defuse a bomb in Saidiya.
is under increased security
for the new year.
A roadside bomb was defused
Two al-Qaeda suspects were captured
north of Baquba.
In Kirkuk, five rockets were discovered.
Basra police arrested
a Soldier of Heaven leader along with four other suspects. The cult has staged
massive attacks before and was allegedly planning one during the upcoming Ashura
holiday. Eighteen other suspects were are detained, one wearing women's clothing.
Ammunition and weapons were found
Two Katyusha rockets were fired
at an MNF base in Kut.
Iranian Refugees at Camp Ashraf are
they will be turned over to Iran where they face possible torture or execution.
U.S. soldiers will remain at the refugee camp after the handover of security to
Iraqi forces, but Iraq still wants the group to leave. No third party country
has been found that will accept the group. At one time, many in the group belonged
to the People's Mujahideen, so they are classified as a terrorist group, but they
gave up their weapons after the U.S. invasion, and the U.S. has protected them
Compiled by Margaret Griffis