Updated at 7:07 p.m. EST, March 16, 2009
At least 11 Iraqis were killed and 7 more were wounded during the latest
attacks. One of the dead was a 12-year-old girl who was shot by U.S. troops
in Mosul. One U.S.
soldier was killed during combat in Baghdad. Also, Iraqi troops beat
an unknown number of people at Camp Ashraf, and the MNF admitted
shooting down an Iranian drone aircraft that ventured into Iraqi airspace. Meanwhile,
Vice President Talabani stifled hopes for an independent Kurdish state.
Iraqi Vice President Jalal Talabani is in Turkey for a conference. While there,
Talabani, who is a Kurd, said
that an independent Kurdish state was impossible. Turkey has been at war with
the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) for the last two decades but has mistreated
its own Kurd population, at times denying their existence, for decades.
Iraqi authorities reported
that Coalition forces shot down an unmanned Iranian drone aircraft they believe
mistakenly ventured into Iraqi airspace. The exact date was not released, but
the incident likely took place in February. U.S. authorities believe
that the craft was intentionally sent into Iraqi airspace. Iran and Iraq are
now on relatively friendly terms, but the Iranians occasionally launch artillery
attacks at suspected Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK) rebel locations
in the northeast part of the country.
Iraqi troops escalated their harassment of Iranian refugees at Camp Ashraf.
The Interior Ministry admitted that troops beat
some of the residents, while the residents claimed the soldiers used electric
batons during the beatings. Some of the refugees belong to the People's Mujahideen
of Iran (PMOI) and fled that country when Saddam Hussein opened the doors to
them. Iraq, Iran and the U.S. view the group as terrorists. Iraq would like
them to leave, but the group cannot return home for fear of torture and execution.
No third country has been willing to accept them either.
In Mosul, U.S. forces admitted accidentally
killing a 12-year-old girl, but there are conflicting stories to the exact
circumstances. Gunmen killed
an Iraqi soldier during clashes last night. Also last night, a sticky bomb
a civilian. Also, an Iraqi
security official was wounded during a raid yesterday; the death of a woman
in the same incident was already reported.
and decomposing bodies were discovered at a cemetery in Mukhifa.
In Baghdad, a roadside bomb wounded
three people, including an Awakening Council member, in the Doura
district. Also in Doura, two bombs targeting Americans left no casualties.
A spectator killed
an Iraqi soccer player during the last minute of play at a game in Hilla.
Allegedly a fan of the rival team, the spectator shot the player as he was about
to kick a game-tying goal. A conflicting
report stated that a guard accidentally killed the player during celebratory
gunfire. The shooter was arrested. Separately, a suspect who may have killed
as many as 70 people was detained.
Gunmen tossed a grenade inside a doctor’s car, killing
him, in Kirkuk. One
security guard was killed and another was wounded at a telecom company.
One policeman was wounded during
a roadside bomb blast. An oil
pipeline blew up west of Kirkuk, but authorities believe it was accidental.
A body was found in Aziziya.
In Basra, security personnel from several southern provinces attended
a conference. The goal of the conference was to coordinate security operations
among the southern provinces. This could be part of a greater effort to bring
together the southern provinces into one political entity that would operate
semi-autonomously. Meanwhile, 103 suspects were arrested across the province.
A three-year-old girl was liberated in Amara, and
her kidnappers were arrested. Two devices were defused, and a policeman was arrested on murder charges.
Five tons of explosives were discovered in Iskandariya.
Five suspects were detained in Rashad.
U.S. forces handed 29 detainees
over to police in Anbar. The group were cleared of all charges and now await
release from Iraqi custody when the again prove their innocence.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis