Updated at 8:20 p.m. EST, March 1, 2009
At least four Iraqis
were killed and eight more were wounded in violence today. No Coalition casualties
were reported. Meanwhile, the Iraqi Ministry of Health reported that casualty
figures surged in February, but they are still low compared to previous years.
Also, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said
that he retains the authority to alter President Obama's withdrawal plans should
national security warrants such change.
The number of deaths for February
by approximately 50% over January's figures. The Iraqi Ministry of Health reported
that 211 Iraqis were killed in violence acts during the month. Although up from
January of this year, the number is only a third of last February's figures and
significantly lower than 1,645, the number of killed in February 2007.
Approximately 2,000 Shi'ites marched
in Diyala province to protest the outcome of recent elections there. The
outcome of polling in the multi-ethnic province left the Sunnis with 15 seats
on the council. Kurds took six seats and Shi'ites were left with five. Three seats
went to a secular party. Similar protests in Anbar province eventually led to
the discovery and correction of voter fraud there, but that was accomplished before
results were certified across Iraq.
Police in Jalawla, a heavily
Kurdish area of Diyala, arrested ten Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)
members on suspicion of firing upon a policeman,
who was wounded in the incident. A PUK official said he was unaware of any
members being involved in the crime and suggested that the arrests were political
in nature. Tensions between the Kurds and the central government have increased
over the last year, particularly in parts of Diyala where the Kurdish population
would like to be annexed to Iraqi Kurdistan. The PUK is a legal political party.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani belongs to it. Later in the day, the men were released,
but 48 more suspects were arrested.
bomber entered the home of a winning candidate in Fallujah. The candidate
was not harmed, but the bomber killed
A roadside bomb blast wounded
the mayor of Samarra.
In Baghdad, security forces killed
a man who was apparently moving bombs from one location to another.
An al-Qaeda suspect was arrested
in Mosul. Seven suspected Islamic State of Iraq group members were arrested
on charges including the planting of roadside bombs. A pair of roadside bombs
wounded three Iraqi soldiers.
Also, one Iraqi soldier was killed
and another two were wounded in a roadside bomb blast.
police rescued a six-year-old
kidnap victim and wounded one of
Four suspects were captured
and a hostage was freed in
Five gunmen were arrested
Five long-range rockets were discovered
U.S. forces will hand
over the archaeological site of Ur.
Compiled by Margaret