Updated at 5:02 p.m. EST, March 7, 2009
At least 11 Iraqis
were killed and 20 more were wounded in the latest violence. One
U.S. soldier was killed during an attack in Salah ad Din province as well.
Meanwhile, the prime minister called for a stronger, non-sectarian government
but the arrests of several men left his critics wondering whether Maliki means
what he says. In brighter news, a pilgrimage brought millions to Samarra without
A day after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki spoke of reconciliation
with Baath Party members, Iraqi security forces were arrested
several men accused of belonging to a neo-Baathist group. The prime minister also
for a stronger, non-sectarian government. Some critics have called the prime minister
a dictator and fear the consolidation of power in Baghdad.
A Sunni official
that two Sunni clerics were detained this week, but lawyers have as yet not determined
the reason for the arrests. The Interior Ministry has denied knowledge of the
arrests. However, the ministry has previously denied knowledge of similar arrests
only to later admit they were holding people. The ministry was also once known
for harboring Shi'ite death squads during the height of the sectarian violence
that nearly ripped Iraq apart.
Although violence has faded through most
of the country, Iraqi women face
a perhaps more frightening future. Many widows are not receiving their pensions,
and the access to clean water is another concern. A significant amount of women
remain displaced while some send their children to school. Separately, a psychological
that Iraqis lack proper mental health care.
casualties were reported after millions of Iraqis visited the al-Askari mosque
in Samarra. The mosque's golden dome, minarets and clock towers were demolished
during bomb attacks in 2006 and 2007. The 2006 bombing exacerbated sectarian tensions
and launched massive killing sprees across Iraq. This pilgrimage commemorates
the death of Imam Hassan al Askari.
U.S. forces killed
a man in Baiji. A military source said the man fired upon U.S. troops
and they in turn shot him in self-defense. The man's relatives said that he was
killed in front of them. It is unclear whether an incident in which a U.S.
soldier killed in Salah ad Din today is related to this shooting.
In Mosul, the body
of a nine-year-old girl was found. A retired
army officer was killed. Four
civilians were wounded when a bomb was detonated inside a food shop. Gunmen
two Iraqi soldiers at a checkpoint. A hand grenade tossed at a security patrol
a soldier and wounded a civilian. A bomb exploded near a police patrol and
two policemen and a
civilian. Another bomb, this one at a checkpoint, wounded
In Baghdad, a bomb on Palestine St. killed
one civilian and wounded eight other people. A pair of bombs on Wathiq
Sq. left three
wounded. A roadside bomb targeting a U.S. patrol in Zaafaraniyah left no
were found in Makhmour. The district lies within an area claimed by Kurdistan
but administered by the central government. Several dumped bodies have been found
there in recent weeks.
A roadside bomb near Tikrit killed
two civilians last night.
An Iraqi army officer was arrested
in Amara for possession of 13 missiles.
Eight al-Qaeda suspects
were detained in Diyala
Near Qaim, security forces picked-up
five men suspected of planting roadside bombs.
A cache of explosives was
found in Amara.
Explosives belts and roadside bombs were recovered
from a home during a raid in Abu Seif.
Ten men suspected of involvement
in Thursday's livestock market bombing in Hilla were rounded
up for investigation. Four of the men were working as guards at the market.
artillery bombed an area north of Arbil, but no
casualties were reported.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis