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Last week in Iraq

By Times Wires
Published December 16, 2007



-A roadside bomb killed the police chief of a mostly Shiite province south of Baghdad on Dec. 9, hours after U.S. commanders praised him for his commitment to bringing stability to Iraq. Maj. Gen. Qais al-Maamouri and two guards were killed in Hillah.

-A spate of bomb, rocket and mortar attacks rocked areas of Baghdad on Monday, killing at least nine people and exploding part of an oil refinery.

-A suicide car bomber killed two guards Tuesday at a checkpoint near the Baghdad homes and offices of two prominent politicians, including former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. Both men were out of the country.

-Three car bombs exploded near a local market in Amarah on Wednesday, killing at least 42 civilians and injuring 125. Police said that the first car exploded inside a park. After people gathered to help, the second car exploded, followed by the third car.

-In the Kurdish-dominated town of Khanaqin near the Iranian border, a roadside bombing killed four civilians and wounded 12 on Wednesday, police said.

-In the northern city of Mosul on Thursday, gunmen killed a woman who ran a beauty parlor out of her home, apparently angered by what they saw as a violation of Islamic tradition. Two police checkpoints came under attack, leaving four police officers and a number of militants dead, police said.


-The U.S. military in Iraq is undergoing its biggest changeover in senior commanders since Gen. David Petraeus launched a new counterinsurgency strategy nearly a year ago. Topping the list of departures is Petraeus' second-in-command, Army Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, who is due to leave in February.


-The Iraqi government on Dec. 9 called on the United States to interact directly with Iran to improve security across the Middle East. It was a sharp rebuke to Washington a day after Defense Secretary Robert Gates called on Persian Gulf countries to pressure Tehran to renounce its nuclear program.

-Iraq's foreign minister said Monday that the United States and Iran will meet Tuesday to discuss ways of stabilizing Iraq.

-One-third of Iraqi refugees who fled to neighboring Syria expect their money to run out within three months, the U.N. refugee agency said Friday in a report highlighting what some think is the main reason families are returning to their still-violent homeland.

-Iraqi oil production rose to 2.32-million barrels per month in November, its highest monthly level in about 3 1/2 years, the International Energy Agency said Friday. The agency cited improving security.


As of Saturday, 3,893 U.S. troops have died in Iraq. Identifications as reported by the U.S. military and not previously published:

-Navy Chief Petty Officer Mark T. Carter, 27, Fallbrook, Calif.; combat Tuesday.

-Army Sgt. Samuel E. Kelsey, 24, Troup, Texas; explosion Thursday; Tunis, Tunisia.

-Army Spc. Johnathan A. Lahmann, 21, Richmond, Ind.; explosion Monday; Beiji.

-Army Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan A. Lowery, 38, Houlton, Maine; small-arms fire Friday; Mosul.

-Army Spc. Brynn J. Naylor, 21, Roswell, N.M.; small-arms fire Thursday; Baghdad.

-Army Spc. Randy W. Pickering, 31, Bovey, Minn.; noncombat incident Dec. 9; Baghdad.

-Army Pvt. Daren A. Smith, 19, Helena, Mont.; non-combat incident Thursday; Baghdad.

[Last modified December 16, 2007, 01:04:59]

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