Updated at 7:10 p.m. EST, Mar. 19, 2009
At least 17 Iraqis were killed and three more were wounded in light
attacks. Also, a third body was found in a mass grave that possibly dates
to 1991. Meanwhile, the Arab League Secretary-General arrived
in Iraq, just as Iraqi leaders warned
of potential destabilization. Separately, Moqtada al-Sadr issued
a new order to end violence and the Camp Ashraf drama continued.
Amr Moussa, who heads the 22-member Arab League, visited
Iraq and pushed
for reconciliation and stability. This was his first trip since 2005. Many
Arab nations have kept their distance from Iraq so as not to imply any approval
of the U.S.-led invasion. They are now moving closer to prevent Iran from
exerting too much influence. Moussa said that the two most important things
needed for stability were the exit of U.S. troops and an end to the sectarian
polarization. However, Iraqi lawmakers were united
in wondering whether Iraq’s stability can meet the upcoming challenges. One
of those challenges is the reintegration
of former Ba’ath Party members.
Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr again asked
his violence to renounce violence. Last year, the popular firebrand asked most
of his Mahdi Army militia to lay down their arms, while retaining a small fighting
force. This was seen as an effort to rid the group of unmanageable elements
within the army and to re-enter mainline
Iraq is asking
foreign nations to take over 3,000 Iranian refugees based at Camp Ashraf.
Some members belonged to the People's Mujahideen of Iran (PMOI) but have allegedly
given up armed struggle. Saddam Hussein welcomed the group into Iraq when relations
with Iran were low. Their continued presence, however, is a thorn in the side
of the new Iran-friendly Shi'ite government. Some residents have claimed abuse
at the hands of the new Iraqi government, but they can neither go home for fear
of execution nor can they find a third country to take them. Meanwhile, Germany
122 Iraqis refugees.
U.S. troops killed
10 gunmen during clashes in Balad Ruz.
In Mosul, an attack on a U.S. patrol wounded
two Iraqi civilians instead. A Gunmen killed
a woman and wounded her daughter. Separately, two
more civilians were killed during a shooting.
In Baghdad, gunmen killed
a top official from the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP) while he was in Adhamiya
celebrating the Prophet Mohammad’s birthday.
Talkeef police found a body bearing gunshot wounds.
the mayor of Doberdan village east of Mosul.
was found in Kut.
At least one
more body was pulled from a mass grave near Basra that already gave
up two bodies earlier this week. Authorities believe the graves dates to a 1991
crackdown on a Shi’ite uprising. A province-wide security operation netted 30 suspects and liberated
In Rashad, security forces found 237 explosive devices stashed
at a former hideout for armed groups.
Four suspects were captured in the marshes south
U.S. forces expect to close
Bucca prison later this year, after the so far successful release of
detainees. The U.S. has retained the right to indefinitely hold people believe
to be dangerous, but many are held without trial or even evidence suggesting
they might be guilty. About
13,300 detainees remain out of a total of 100,000. Meanwhile, a Virginia
claims CACI International Inc. is immune to lawsuits stemming from abuse at
Abu Ghraib prison.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis