Updated at 5:07 p.m. EST, Mar. 23, 2009
An astounding serious of bombings and other attacks killed at least 45 Iraqis
and wounded 96 more across the country. Meanwhile, Iraq’s Interior Minister
said that a hiring freeze for security forces will not affect the U.S. drawdown;
however, Turkish leaders are separately discussing their relationship with the
U.S and Iraq which could affect the manner of withdrawal.
Turkish president Abdullah Gul arrived
in Iraq for the first visit by the head of this neighboring country since 1976.
High on his list of important issues is the desire for Iraq to crackdown
on Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) rebels, who use Iraq to launch cross border attacks
into Turkey. In turn, Iraq will ask Turkey to allow more
water through its dams and into the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. During
a press conference, Iraq's President Jalal Talabani, who is a Kurd himself,
the rebels to disarm themselves or leave the country.
Separately, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said
in an interview that Turkey could allow the U.S. to withdraw from Iraq through
Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani said that oil prices are forcing a hiring freeze that will
eliminate 66,000 new police jobs. He added that the freeze will not affect the
U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.
A suicide bomber struck at a Kurdish funeral in Jalawla. At least 25
people were killed and 45 others were wounded. Jalawla is in a predominantly
Kurdish part of Diyala province. Tensions between local authorities and the
central government increased last year when the central government chose to
exert more authority in the area. Many residents would prefer annexation by
the neighboring Kurdish Autonomous Region and use Kurdish Peshmerga for projection.
Recent elections only broadened
At least nine
people were killed in Abu Ghraib and 23
more were wounded during a bomb blast. Conflicting
reports have the blast being a car bomb in a garage or a roadside bomb near
auto shops. This suburb of Baghdad suffered a major bombing less than two weeks
people were killed and nine others were wounded during a bomb attack on
the home of a sheikh in Fallujah. Two children were among the dead.
A suicide bomber killed one
policeman and injured five people in Tal Afar.
In Mosul, a suicide bomber seriously
injured four policemen and two civilians. Two
civilians were wounded in a roadside bomb blast. Gunmen lobbed a grenade
at a U.S. patrol, but no
casualties were reported.
In Baghdad, security forces detained 12 suspects and liberated one hostage. A roadside
bomb blast wounded
seven people, including two national policemen, in Doura.
Thirty suspects were detained in Missan.
Two al-Qaeda suspects were detained in Iskandariya.
Ten al-Qaeda suspects were arrested across Diyala
In Buhriz, 150 improvised explosive devices were discovered.
Seventeen suspects were arrested across Basra
and a number of vehicles were confiscated.
Two weapons caches were discovered in separate locations
Compiled by Margaret Griffis