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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Developments in Iraq, Feb. 28

Feb 28 (Reuters) - The following are security incidents and political developments in Iraq reported on Tuesday, as of 1200 GMT.

U.S. and Iraqi forces are battling a largely Sunni Arab insurgency against the Shi'ite- and Kurdish-led government in Baghdad.

**Denotes new or updated item.


**BAGHDAD - Three bombs hit Baghdad on Tuesday, two in the east and one in the centre of the city, police said. At least 23 people were killed in one bombing at a petrol station in eastern Baghdad, with 51 wounded, police sources said.

Reuters photographer Ali Jassem counted at least 10 dead bodies after a blast destroyed a car on the main street of the Karrada district in downtown Baghdad though police said five were killed in that incident.

Police put the total number of deaths at 32 killed and 80 people wounded in all three attacks.

TIKRIT - A bomb damaged the dome of the mosque over the grave of Saddam Hussein's father in Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north-west of Baghdad, police and officials said. The trial of Saddam, Iraq's deposed president, and seven co-defendants resumed on Tuesday.

AMARA - Two British soldiers were killed and a third was wounded in an attack on their patrol in Amara, 360 km (230 miles) southeast of Baghdad on Tuesday, the British military said.

BAGHDAD - A U.S. soldier was killed by small-arms fire west of Baghdad on Monday, the U.S. military said.

**BAGHDAD - A mortar round fell near the TV station run by the Iraqi Islamic Party wounding two senior employees, police sources said.

BAQUBA - Nine bodies of shooting victims were found just south of the city of Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad on Tuesday, the army said. The corpses were found in wastelands in the hamlet of Tarfaya, the officials said.

FALLUJA - Two bodies of civilians with multiple gunshot wounds were found north of Falluja, 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

KIRKUK - A car bomb exploded as a police patrol passed in Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, wounding three civilians, police said.

BAGHDAD - Interior Ministry sources said a Sunni Arab mosque was damaged by a bomb early Tuesday morning.

BAGHDAD - More than 300 Iraqis have been killed in Baghdad alone since the bombing of a Shi'ite shrine last week, morgue officials said.

SAMAWA - Iraqi police caught a Saudi insurgent named Abdulla Salih Salih in Samawa 270 km (170 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraqi state television reported. Iraqi Interior Ministry forces yesterday captured a senior aide to al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Ramadi, Iraqi state television said on Monday. Iraqiya television named the man as Abu Farouq.


**BAGHDAD - Saddam Hussein returned to court on Tuesday but his trial was quickly thrown into fresh disarray when his lawyers walked out after their pleas for an expulsion of the judge and a postponement were rejected.

Saddam's fiery half-brother and former intelligence chief Barzan al-Tikriti then joined in with a heated verbal exchange with chief judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman, whose impartiality has been questioned by the defence because he is a Kurd from Halabja, a Kurdish village allegedly gassed by the former Iraqi leader's forces in 1988.

**BAGHDAD - Iraq's President Jalal Talabani criticised interim Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari's visit to Turkey saying other parts of the government had not been informed. The Iraqi government will not accept any decision made as a result of the meeting with the Turkish government, Talabani said.

KERBALA - Firebrand Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called for unity when he addressed several hundred supporters in Kerbala 110 km (68 miles) southwest of Baghdad. Sadr said sectarian violence was what foreign forces in Iraq wanted.
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