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March 17, 2009
Tuesday: 8 Iraqis Killed; UN Observes Halabja Anniversary

Updated at 7:26 p.m. EST, March 17, 2009

At least 8 Iraqis were killed on an unusually quiet day that saw U.N. officials remember the deadly chemical attack in Halabja 21 years ago. No Coalition deaths nor Iraqi wounded were reported.

As the 21st anniversary of the chemical attack at Halabja was observed during a U.N. ceremony, renewed calls for the execution of Saddam Hussein-era officials were made. About 5,600 people, mostly Kurds, were killed then, but birth defects and cancers still plague the area at a rate significantly higher than elsewhere in Iraq. Saddam's cousin Ali Hassan al-Majeed, better known as “Chemical Ali,” is one of the men awaiting execution for his role in the Halabja and other attacks. His execution has been held up in political wrangling.

In Mosul, gunmen killed a university student and a civilian in separate events in the New Mosul neighborhood. Police killed a man who lobbed a grenade at them. Gunmen killed a soldier at a checkpoint.

Two bodies were found separately in Duluiya, but both young men belonged to Awakening Councils. A third young man, who was kidnapped along with one of the dead, is still missing.

The body of an Iraqi soldier was discovered in Qayara. He had been shot in both the head and chest.

A civilian was killed in Buhriz.

Police discovered 360 landmines in Shatra.

Two suspects were arrested south of Amara.

Four men suspected of murder were arrested east of Amara in al-Teeb.

The head of a kidnapping gang was arrested in Baquba.

A kidnapping gang was detained in Muqdadiya.

Forty-four suspects were detained across Dhi Qar province.

U.S. forces released six detainees into the custody of the Kirkuk provincial council. Separately, twelve suspects belonging to the al-Naqshabandiya group were detained.

Four gunmen were detained near Tuz Khormato.

In Basra province, 57 suspects were detained. Security forces collected weapons and improperly licensed vehicles as well. This latest operation has netted dozens of suspects in the last few days.

 
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