THE BLOG
11/07/2007 10:59 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Iraq Daily Update 11/07/07

2007 DEADLIEST YEAR FOR U.S. TROOPS

Bombs kill five U.S. soldiers in Iraq. The military announced Tuesday the deaths of five more soldiers, making 2007 the deadliest year of the war for U.S. troops. The soldiers were killed Monday in two separate roadside bomb attacks. [Reuters, 11/06/07]

U.S. TO RELEASE 9 IRANIANS AND 500 DETAINEES BEING HELD IN IRAQ

The U.S. military says it intends to release nine Iranians, including two detained on suspicion of helping Shi'a militias. They were among five Iranians who Tehran insists are diplomats seized in the Kurdish city of Irbil in January. The announcement came as Iran opened two consulates in northern Iraq to improve ties with the Kurdish region. Iran's ambassador said the detention of the five men was an "illegal act against Iraqi sovereignty." A US military spokesman said the individuals being released were of "no continuing value, nor do they pose a further threat to Iraqi security." No details were given about the other seven that the spokesman, Rear Admiral Greg Smith, said would be released "in the near future." [BBC, 11/7/07]

The U.S. military in Iraq says it will release about 500 detainees in a gesture aimed at fostering goodwill and reconciliation. Sunni Arab politicians have repeatedly complained members of their community are discriminated against and form the majority of those being held. US forces are thought to hold about 20,000 detainees in Iraq, many of them for long periods and without being formally charged. No details were given about the identity of those to be freed. The announcement came a day after US officials in Iraq said nine Iranian detainees would be soon released. [BBC, 11/7/07]

VIOLENCE CONTINUES TO RAGE IN IRAQ

Second mass grave found in less than a month. 17 bodies were found in Diyala, some 35 miles northeast of Baghdad. Baqouba is the provincial capital of Diyala -- a troubled area where Al-Qaeda in Iraq is believed to have a strong presence. Many of the bodies were handcuffed and blindfolded and were likely passengers kidnapped at fake checkpoints on a nearby road leading to Baqouba -- a dangerous route dubbed the "road of death." The discovery came a day after the U.S. military announced that another mass grave had been found in Iraq's western Anbar province. Iraqi soldiers found 22 bodies in the Lake Tharthar area on Saturday during a joint operation with U.S. forces, the military said in a statement.
[AP, 11/7/07]

Sporadic sectarian violence was reported from different parts of Iraq.
In Diwaniyah, southeast of Baghdad, two children aged 4 and 8 were killed early Wednesday when a mortar struck their house. An officer said, they were members of a Shi'a family mired in a local feud with neighboring Sunnis. Their father and two brothers were injured in the attack. Farther south in Kut, gunmen broke into the home of an Iraqi soldier and shot him to death. In Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, the police chief said he escaped unharmed after a roadside bomb targeted his convoy. It was the second attempt on Maj. Gen. Jalil Khalaf's life in less than a week. Later Wednesday, a suicide truck bomb exploded at the office of a Kurdish political party in Kirkuk. About 13 people were wounded. In the capital, a Shi'a math teacher was killed in a drive-by shooting in the Sunni-dominated Mansour area. Hanaa Lafta Muhssin, 35, was walking to school at 8 a.m. when gunmen showered her with bullets. [AP, 11/7/07]

Spy cameras set up in Baghdad to counter insurgents. Iraq's security forces have set up 250 "spy" cameras across the war-ravaged city in a bid to flush out insurgents and criminals, an official said on Wednesday, warning that more are on the way. Brigadier General Qasim Atta, spokesman for the Baghdad security plan, said the cameras had proven effective in fighting insurgents in the central shrine city of Karbala, where they were installed in May. "These cameras are very high-tech. They can store images for up to five years," Atta said. "This is the first part of the project. More cameras will be installed over a period of time." [AFP, 11/7/07]