Sunday, April 26, 2009

Back in Suli from a 4-day trip to about a dozen villages along Iraq's border with Turkey and Iran (more to follow on this trip).

Today's news from Iraq: U.S. troops once again are violating the security agreement and conducting raids on Iraqi homes - and in one case killing and local chief and his wife. U.S. forces on Sunday conducted a raid in Kut, without informing the central government or even the local police chief. This "crime" (according the Prime Minister Maliki) was conducted in the middle of the night and in which the U.S. military said it targeted the financier of Shiite militia factions believed to be backed by the Iranians. Two persons dead, six arrested. On Saturday, US and Iraqi forces raided homes in Fallujah.

One US soldier was killed and two injured in an attack in Kirkuk on Saturday. Seven pilgrims on their way to Samarra were wounded when gunmen opened fire at their mini-bus near Balad. In Mosul, two Iraqi soldiers were killed when gunmen attacked their checkpoint and an off-duty police man was killed in another incident.

At least 60 people were killed and 125 were wounded in twin suicide attacks at the mosque in Baghdad's Kadhimiya neighbourhood on Friday. There were killings in Sinjar, Jalawla and Mosul as well.

In other news, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a surprise visit to Baghdad on Saturday. She said Iraq is "on the right track".

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