At least 11 people were killed and three were wounded in the latest
attacks. A U.S.
soldier also died, in a vehicle accident south of Baghdad yesterday. Meanwhile,
U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker warned
that a hasty withdrawal of U.S. forces could unravel hard-earned security gains
as top military officials met
with U.S. President Obama to discuss a drawdown.
people where killed when gunmen stormed their home near Balad Ruz in Maamil.
Two others were kidnapped. In one report, five women and a 12-year-old girl were
among the dead. The motive for the killing might have been sectarian as the victims
belonged to a Sunni family and were living in a Shi'ite neighborhood. Another
source gave one extra
victim and reported that the family was traveling through the area when killed.
In Baghdad, a bomb hidden in a traffic booth killed
a 7-year-old boy and wounded his mother. A roadside bomb in Khadraa
left one dead and three wounded.
A suspected "special groups" leader was arrested
in Hay. "Special groups" is a term used by U.S. forces to describe Iranian-backed
With provincial elections just days away, Sunni candidates in
Anbar province hope
to legitimately take over control of local government. The Sunnis sat out the
last elections after U.S. operations in Fallujah left hundreds dead, but have
since come to work with U.S. forces and the central Iraqi government. Further
north and west, Iraqi and Turkish officials
agreed to cooperate on ridding their border areas of Kurdistan Workers Party
A security official reiterated
Iraq's position on closing Camp Ashraf in Diyala province today, but now
the government insists it will be closed within two months. The central government
wants to close the refugee camp and expel its Iranian residents in order to improve
relations with neighboring Iran. There is no third country willing to accept the
refugees, and they fear returning home where they might be subjected to torture
Many there once belonged to the People's Mujahedin of Iran,
which has been labeled a terrorist group; however, the European Union is considered
dropping that designation as the group has since renounced violence. Although
Iraqi officials have frequently complained about Camp Ashraf, this two-month time
limit would be a significant change in policy, perhaps brought on by recent claims
that a resident confessed to
plotting a violent attack that would embarrass the Iraqi government.
by Margaret Griffis