Iraq on Wednesday marked the fifth anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein's iron-fisted regime with the nation still in turmoil, the capital under curfew and a surge of deadly violence in the Shi'ite bastion of Sadr City. Iraqi officials said three mortar rounds slammed into Sadr City, killing at least seven people and wounding 24 others.
United States forces killed 49 ''criminals'' in fierce fighting with militants in Baghdad's Shi'ite stronghold of Sadr City on Sunday during a raid targeting an Iranian-linked insurgent. Medics at four hospitals confirmed 17 dead, including a boy and a girl, but US military spokesperson Major Winfield Danielson said there were no civilian casualties and no reports of American losses.
A former Iraqi lawmaker gave chilling testimony of torture and beatings at the trial on Wednesday of 15 aides of executed dictator Saddam Hussein, including the notorious ''Chemical Ali'', who are accused of crimes against humanity. ''I heard screams of pain as prisoners were beaten and tortured,'' the witness said.
United States troops in Iraq launched a major assault against al-Qaeda-linked militants and alleged Iranian-aided extremist groups on Monday as a Sunni leader accused Iran of plotting genocide against his people. Operation Phantom Strike, the military announced, was being waged nationwide to disrupt Shi'ite extremist networks and insurgents affiliated to al-Qaeda.
United States forces have arrested a top Iraqi militant who acted as a link between al-Qaeda's Iraqi offshoot and Osama bin Laden, the global jihadist network's Saudi founder, the US military said on Wednesday. Brigadier General Kevin Bergner said American troops had arrested Khaled al-Mashhadani on July 4 in the northern city of Mosul.
Two double bomb attacks killed at least 35 people in Iraq on Friday, while gunmen raided the home of a police chief, massacring his wife, brother and 12 bodyguards and seizing his children. A twin bomb attack on a Shi'ite mosque near the northern oil city of Kirkuk killed at least 19 people and wounded 22, police and medical officials said.
A suicide car bomber struck a United States military outpost north of Baghdad, killing nine soldiers and wounding 20 others, in the deadliest attack on American ground forces in Iraq in 16 months. In an attack claimed by al-Qaeda, the bomb exploded against a patrol base in the restive province of Diyala on Monday.