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Last week in Iraq

By TIMES WIRES
Published August 12, 2007


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Attacks

- Thirteen people were killed and 14 wounded in a mortar attack in a Shiite-dominated area in southeastern Baghdad on Aug. 5, authorities said.

- A suicide bomber on Monday killed at least 28 people in Tal Afar, including 19 children. Sixty decomposing bodies were found in a mainly Sunni area that had been under the control of al-Qaida in Iraq west of Baqubah, according to a Diyala police official. The U.S. military said it had no information about any discovery. At least 53 other people were killed or found dead elsewhere in Iraq, according to police.

- Attacks through the rest of the week were smaller in scope, in part because of a strict curfew during a large Shiite pilgrimage to Baghdad. At least 103 people were killed or found dead in Iraq from Wednesday through Friday.

Military

- Rogue Shiite militia members with Iranian weapons and training launched three-quarters of the attacks that killed or wounded American forces last month in Baghdad, stepping into the void left as Sunni insurgents have been dislodged, a top U.S commander said Aug. 5.

- The overall number of U.S. troops in Iraq temporarily reached a high of nearly 162,000 as new units arrived to replace those on the way out, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

- U.S. aircraft and soldiers attacked Shiite militia bombmakers accused of links to Iran in raids in Baghdad's Sadr City. The U.S. military said 32 suspected militants were killed and 12 were captured. The strike sought to target a ring believed to be smuggling armor-piercing roadside bombs from Iran. Iraqi police and witnesses said the raids killed nine civilians, including two women, and made no mention of militants.

- Marine Pvts. Tyler Jackson and Jerry Shumate Jr., who pleaded guilty in the case of an Iraqi civilian slain in April 2006 in Hamdania, were released from military prison Monday, four months early. Pvt. Robert Pennington, who had served 15 months of an eight-year sentence, was released Friday. John Jodka III and corpsman Melson Bacos have served their sentences, with time off for good behavior. Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins, the squad leader, was sentenced to 15 years. He is appealing.

Rebuilding

- Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged Aug. 5 that political stability in Iraq won't likely happen before the Bush administration makes its crucial September assessment of its war strategy.

- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Aug. 5 rejected the resignations of six Cabinet ministers from the country's largest Sunni Arab bloc, asking them to rejoin his government.

- Iraq's political crisis worsened Monday as five more ministers announced a boycott of Cabinet meetings, leaving the embattled prime minister's unity government with no members affiliated with Sunni political factions.

- Despite the U.S. accusations of Iranian meddling in Iraq, the U.S. and Iranian ambassadors met in Baghdad on Monday for their third round of talks in just over two months. A U.S. Embassy spokesman called the talks between U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and his counterpart, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, "frank and serious."

- The top U.N. political adviser, B. Lynn Pascoe, told the Security Council on Tuesday that the United Nations would be prepared to increase the size of its mission in Baghdad by nearly 50 percent, raising the ceiling from 65 to as many as 95 international staffers in the coming months.

- The Security Council voted unanimously Friday to expand the U.N. role in Iraq and opened the door for the world body to promote talks to ease Iraq's sectarian bloodshed. The resolution authorizes the United Nations, at the request of the Iraqi government, to promote political talks among Iraqis and a regional dialogue on issues including border security, energy and refugees as well as help tackle the country's worsening humanitarian crisis.

Deaths

As of Saturday, 3,685 U.S. troops have died in Iraq. Identifications as reported by the U.S. military and not previously published:

- Army Cpl. Juan M. Alcantara, 22, New York; explosion Monday; Baghdad.

- Marine Cpl. Reynold Armand, 21, Rochester, N.Y, Tuesday; Balad.

- Army Sgt. 1st Class Travis S. Bachman, 30, Garden City, Kan.; explosion Aug. 1; al-Basrah.

- Army Spc. Justin R. Blackwell, 27, Paris, Tenn.; indirect fire Aug. 5; Baghdad.

- Army Pvt. Jeremy S. Bohannon, 18, Bon Aqua, Tenn.; indirect fire Aug. 5; Baghdad.

- Marine Sgt. Jon E. Bonnell Jr., 22, Fort Dodge, Iowa; combat Tuesday; Anbar province.

- Army Sgt. Nicholas A. Gummersall, 23, of Chubbuck, Idaho; explosion Monday; Baghdad.

- Army Pfc. Jaron D. Holliday, 21, Tulsa, Okla.; explosion Aug. 4; Hawr Rajab.

- Army Spc. Kareem R. Khan, 20, Manahawkin, N.J.; explosion Monday; Baghdad.

- Army Cpl. Jason K. Lafleur, 28, Ignacio, Colo.; explosion Aug. 4; Hawr Rajab.

- Army Spc. Charles E. Leonard Jr., 29, Monroe, La.; explosion Aug. 5; Baghdad.

- Air Force Tech. Sgt. Joey D. Link, 29, Portland, Tenn.; natural causes Aug. 5; Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

- Army Spc. Braden J. Long, 19, Sherman, Texas; explosion Aug. 4; Baghdad.

- Army Sgt. Bradley W. Marshall, 37, Little Rock; Ark.; indirect fire July 31; Tunis.

- Army Pfc. Matthew M. Murchison, 21, Independence, Mo.; explosion Aug. 4; Baghdad.

- Army Spc. Daniel F. Reyes, 24, San Diego; indirect fire July 31; Tunis.

- Army Master Sgt. Julian Ingles Rios, 52, Anasco, Puerto Rico; explosion Aug. 2; Baghdad.

- Army Spc. Cristian Rojas-Gallego, 24, Loganville, Ga.; explosion Aug. 2; Baghdad.

- Army Spc. Eric D. Salinas, 25, Houston; explosion Aug. 2; Baghdad.

- Army Staff Sgt. Fernando Santos, 29, San Antonio, Texas; explosion Aug. 2; Baghdad.

- Army Staff Sgt. Jacob M. Thompson, 26, North Mankato, Minn.; explosion Monday; Baghdad.

- Marine Lance Cpl. Cristian Vasquez, 20, Coalinga, Calif.; combat Aug. 2; Anbar province.

- Army Sgt. Dustin S. Wakeman, 25, Fort Worth, Texas; explosion Aug. 4; Hawr Rajab.

- Army Spc. Donald M. Young, 19, of Helena, Mont., explosion Wednesday; Baghdad.

[Last modified August 12, 2007, 00:38:14]


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