Last week in Iraq

By Times Wires
Published September 2, 2007


-A suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt among worshipers at evening prayers Monday in Fallujah, killing the mosque preacher and 10 other people, police said.

-Fighting erupted Tuesday between rival Shiite militias in Karbala during a religious festival, claiming 51 lives, wounding at least 247 and forcing officials to abort the celebrations and order up to 1-million Shiite pilgrims to leave the southern city.

-Hundreds of U.S. and Iraqi forces killed 33 Sunni insurgents who were holding back the water supply to the Shiite town of Khalis, 50 miles north of Baghdad, the U.S. command said Tuesday.

-Anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr took his Mahdi Army out of action for up to six months Wednesday to overhaul the feared Shiite militia - a stunning move that underscores the growing struggles against breakaway factions with suspected ties to Iran.

-A Jordan-bound military cargo plane carrying four lawmakers, including Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Florida, scrambled to avoid ground fire after taking off from Baghdad on Thursday.

-Iraqi police responded Friday to Tuesday's violence in Karbala, arresting more than 300 people in a show of force against Shiite militias.


-The Army will examine as many as 18,000 contracts awarded over the past four years to support U.S. forces in Iraq to determine how many are tainted by waste, fraud and abuse, Army Secretary Pete Geren announced Wednesday. The contracts are worth close to $3-billion.


-Iraq's embattled prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, lashed out at American critics Aug. 26, saying Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and other Democrats who have called for his ouster should "come to their senses" and stop treating Iraq like "one of their villages."

-Sen. John Warner, R-Va., who wants U.S. troops to start coming home from Iraq by Christmas, said Aug. 26 that he may support Democratic legislation ordering withdrawals if President Bush refuses to set a return timetable soon.

-Sunni politicians applauded goals set down in an agreement hammered out by the country's top leaders under intense American pressure but expressed doubt Monday that the U.S.-backed prime minister would see them through.

-Bush said Tuesday that "there are unmistakable signs" that his troop buildup in Iraq is working and blasted critics who say that the failure of Iraq's national government to foster political reconciliation proves that the troop increase is failing.

-Bush may not get a unified view from senior military leaders in September on how well the U.S. troop buildup in Iraq is working and how long it should continue, Geoff Morrell, the new Pentagon press secretary, said Wednesday.

-A report by the Government Accountability Office that concluded Iraq has satisfied three of 18 benchmarks set by Congress and partly met two others was criticized by the White House and the Pentagon on Thursday as too harsh and factually incorrect.


As of Saturday, 3,738 U.S. troops have died in Iraq. Identifications as reported by the U.S. military and not previously published:

-Army Spc. Edward L. Brooks, 25, Dayton, Ohio; combat Wednesday; Ramadi.

-Army Staff Sgt. Jason M. Butkus, 34, West Milford, N.J.; combat Thursday; Baghdad.

-Army Sgt. James S. Collins Jr., 35, Rochester Hills, Mich.; combat Tuesday; Kirkuk.

-Army Capt. Erick M. Foster, 29, Wexford, Pa.; combat Wednesday; Balad.

-Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew S. Medlicott, 21, Houston; combat Aug. 25; Anbar province.

-Army Sgt. Joshua L. Morley, 22, Hendersonville, N.C.; combat Aug. 26; Samara.

- Army Staff Sgt. Andrew P. Nelson, 22, Moorhead, Minn.; combat Wednesday; Muqdadiyah.

-Lance Cpl. Rogelio A. Ramirez, 21, Pasadena, Calif.; Aug. 26; Anbar province.

-Army Sgt. 1st Class Daniel E. Scheibner, 40, Muskegon, Mich.; explosion Thursday; Noor.

-Marine Cpl. John C. Tanner, 21, Columbus, Ga.; combat Wednesday; Anbar province.

-Army Spc. Tracy C. Willis, 21, Texas; combat Aug. 26; Samara.

As of Saturday, Sept. 1, 2007, at least 3,738 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians. At least 3,061 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers.

The AP count is three higher than the Defense Department's tally, last updated Friday at 10 a.m. EDT.

The British military has reported 168 deaths; Italy, 33; Ukraine, 18; Poland, 21; Bulgaria, 13; Spain, 11; Denmark, seven; El Salvador, five; Slovakia, four; Latvia, three; Estonia, Netherlands, Thailand, two each; and Australia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Romania, South Korea, one death each.

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The latest deaths reported by the military:

- No deaths reported.

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The latest identifications reported by the military:

- Army Staff Sgt. Andrew P. Nelson, 22, Moorhead, Minn.; died Wednesday in Muqdadiyah, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit; assigned to the 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

- Army Sgt. 1st Class Daniel E. Scheibner, 40, Muskegon, Mich.; died Thursday in Noor, of wounds suffered when his vehicle struck an explosive; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Striker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.

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