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Digest

Last week in Iraq

By TIMES WIRES
Published March 18, 2007


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Attacks

- A suicide car bomber barreled into a flatbed truck packed with Shiite pilgrims March 11 in Baghdad. At least 32 people were killed. Blasts killed at least 15 others in Baghdad.

- A suicide car bomber detonated explosives near an Iraqi checkpoint in Ramadi on Monday, wounding 15 people, the U.S. military said. Police found nine bullet-riddled bodies in Baghdad.

- At least 23 people were killed or found dead Tuesday in Baghdad. Eight other bodies were found in Kut, and five in Mosul.

- At least 39 Iraqis were killed or found dead nationwide Wednesday.

- A car bomb Thursday in Baghdad killed at least eight people.

Military

- Defense contractor Halliburton announced March 11 that it would move its corporate headquarters from Houston to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to better oversee its growing operations in the Middle East and Asia.

- With violence down in Baghdad, U.S. troops will fan out into communities on the rim of the capital to shut down car bomb factories, the U.S. military said Monday.

- About 700 American soldiers rolled into Baqubah on Tuesday, to help carry the security campaign against sectarian violence.

- In a new report released Wednesday, the U.S. military said for the first time that some of the violence in Iraq can be described as a civil war, "including the hardening of ethno-sectarian identities and mobilization, the changing character of the violence and population displacements." In its bleakest assessment of the war to date, the quarterly Pentagon report said that October through December was the most violent three-month period since 2003. Most of the data in the report are from before President Bush ordered an additional 21,500 troops and thousands of support personnel to Baghdad.

- There are signs of progress in the campaign to restore order in Iraq, starting with Baghdad, but U.S. officials on Wednesday were cautious about declaring the operation a success. Bomb deaths have gone down 30 percent in Baghdad since the U.S.-led security crackdown began a month ago, and execution-style slayings are down by nearly half.

- A British coroner ruled Friday that an attack by two American pilots on March 28, 2003, that killed a British soldier in Iraq was a criminal assault, contradicting a U.S. finding that the incident was a tragic accident. The finding has no direct legal consequences.

- Ten inmates escaped a British military prison on the outskirts of Basra by switching places with visitors in recent days, British authorities said Friday. The escape came to light Thursday. An 11th inmate was missing, but no one appeared to have been substituted for him, British authorities said.

Rebuilding

- Iraq's fragmented leadership is struggling to meet the major benchmarks that it has pledged to the United States to achieve soon, with political wrangling and a chaotic legislature standing in the way.

- The bodies of Saddam Hussein's two sons and a grandson were exhumed and reburied Tuesday near the ousted leader's grave in Ouja, his hometown north of Baghdad, to keep all members of the family in one place, tribal officials said.

- Thousands of Kurds in Sulaimaniyah on Wednesday welcomed home Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a former Kurdish guerrilla leader, from 17 days of medical treatment in Jordan. Doctors said the 73-year-old suffered from exhaustion and dehydration caused by lung and sinus infections.

Deaths

As of Saturday, 3,211 U.S. troops have died in Iraq. Identifications as reported by the U.S. military and not previously published:

-Army Pfc. James L. Arnold, 21, Mattawan, Mich.; explosion Thursday; Baghdad.

- Army Spc. Joshua M. Boyd, 30, Abilene, Texas; Wednesday of wounds from an explosion March 5; Samara.

- Army Sgt. Emerson N. Brand, 29, Rigby, Idaho; explosion Thursday; Baghdad.

- Army Sgt. Robert M. Carr, 22, Warren, Ohio; explosion Wednesday; Baghdad.

- Marine Lance Cpl. Steven M. Chavez, 20, Hondo, N.M.; noncombat incident Wednesday; Anbar province.

- Army Cpl. Brian L. Chevalier, 21, Athens, Ga.; explosion Wednesday; Mufrek.

- Army Pfc. Alberto Garcia Jr., 23, Bakersfield, Calif.; small-arms fire and explosion Tuesday; Baghdad.

- Army Staff Sgt. Blake M. Harris, 27, Hampton, Ga.; explosion Thursday; Baghdad.

- Army Spc. Stephen M. Kowalczyk, 32, San Diego; small-arms fire Wednesday; Muqdadiyah.

- Army Sgt. Thomas L. Latham, 23, Delmar, Md.; explosion March 11; Baghdad.

- Army Staff Sgt. Terry W. Prater, 25, Speedwell, Tenn.; explosion Thursday; Baghdad.

- Marine Pfc. Angel Rosa, 21, South Portland, Maine; combat Wednesday; Anbar province.

- Army Spc. Adam J. Rosema, 27, Pasadena, Calif.; explosion Wednesday; near Baqubah.

- Army Spc. Jonathan K. Smith, 19, Atlanta; noncombat incident March 11; Baghdad.

- Army Sgt. 1st Class Douglas Stone, 49, Taylorsville, Utah; noncombat incident March 11; north of Baghdad.

- Army Spc. Forrest J. Waterbury, 25, Richmond, Texas; small-arms fire Wednesday; near Ramadi.

- Marine Lance Cpl. Nathanial D. Windsor, 20, Scappoose, Ore.; combat Tuesday; Anbar province.

- Army Sgt. Daniel E. Woodcock, 25, Glennallen, Alaska; explosion March 11; Ad Dayr.

[Last modified March 18, 2007, 01:06:23]


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