New Iraq tactic: Militants hid bombs in vacant apartments

Strangers who in recent weeks had rented empty apartments in residential buildings were blamed for explosions that ripped through the complexes just as residents were leaving for work Tuesday morning. Neighbors reported that they never saw moving trucks or any other sign of the new tenants, who Iraqi authorities said packed the vacant spaces with explosives. At least 35 people died. | 04/06/10 06:59:26 By - Laith Hammoudi and Hannah Allam

Bombs strike four embassies in Baghdad, killing at least 30

A wave of bombings struck foreign diplomatic missions in Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least 30 people and wounding 224 others, Iraqi authorities said. | 04/04/10 14:32:43 By - Laith Hammoudi

Gunmen in Iraqi army uniforms kill 24 in village

Gunmen dressed in Iraqi army uniforms stormed three houses overnight Saturday in a Sunni Muslim village south of Baghdad and killed 24 people, including five women, Iraqi authorities said. | 04/03/10 14:37:00 By - Mohammed Al Dulaimy

Iraqi artist who opposed Saddam now fights 'terrorist' label

A federal judge is forcing the Department of Homeland Security to process the permanent-residency request of an Iraqi artist despite the U.S. government's claims that he could be considered a terrorist under post-Sept. 11 laws. | 03/30/10 18:44:09 By - Marisa Taylor

Iraqi commission moves to disqualify winning candidates

Six winning candidates in Iraq's parliamentary elections will be stripped of their votes and lose their seats — which would cost secular politician Ayad Allawi's bloc its narrow victory — if a federal court upholds a broad purge of candidates who are suspected of past involvement with the late dictator Saddam Hussein's outlawed Baath Party, Iraqi officials said Monday. | 03/29/10 16:00:47 By - Hannah Allam and Sahar Issa

Allawi wins Iraqi election, ending weeks-long vote count

Secular Muslim politician Ayad Allawi Friday won Iraq's landmark parliamentary election by just two seats, defeating incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, who immediately repeated his demands for a recount and warned that the outcome "is not final." | 03/26/10 14:28:30 By - Hannah Allam

Allawi's strength in Iraqi election shows country is still divided

The Iraqi election has shown that U.S. forces are preparing to withdraw from a deeply fragmented Iraq where sectarian interests remain paramount. | 03/25/10 18:28:33 By - Hannah Allam

Complicated quota system helps put Iraqi women in parliament

Maysoun al Damlouji has just one word for the male politicians who are sure to be upset when they find out their newly won parliamentary seats will be handed to female candidates under a quota to increase the role of women in the Iraqi government. "Tough," said Damlouji, who ran for office with the leading secular bloc. | 03/23/10 18:41:21 By - Hannah Allam

Iraq withdrawal payoff: More time at home for Marines

Beginning this fall, the Marine Corps will guarantee nearly all Marines 14 months at home for every seven months they spend in war zones, the first payoff for service members of the United States' diminishing military presence in Iraq. | 03/22/10 16:30:01 By - Nancy A. Youssef

Trailing in popular vote, Iraq's Maliki demands a recount

Iraq's electoral commission immediately rejected the demand, saying there was no justification for further delaying the release of the results of the March 7 parliamentary vote. Despite being slightly behind in the popular, Maliki's coalition is still headed to control the largest number of votes in the parliament. | 03/21/10 13:42:02 By - Hannah Allam

Maliki, behind in popular vote, calls for a recount in Iraq

Iraq's electoral commission quickly rejected the demand, however, saying there was no justification for further delaying results of the March 7 parliamentary polls. Maliki's coalition leads in the number of seats it'll control in the new parliament, but is trailing former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi in the popular vote. | 03/21/10 17:21:57 By - Hannah Allam and Mohammed al Dulaimy

In tight Iraq parliament vote, upsets point to future battles

The count in the Iraqi elections isn't yet over, but tallies released this week reveal upsets in restive provinces that portend a weak and fractious Iraq with battles looming on several fronts: Arab-Kurd rivalries, an internecine Shiite Muslim power struggle and what role Sunni Arabs will play in the next government. | 03/19/10 16:45:43 By - Mohammed al Dulaimy and Hannah Allam

Even if he wins, Maliki may be out as Iraq's prime minister

Nearly half a million people voted for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki in Baghdad, making him by far the leading candidate in the province where the most seats are at stake. But Maliki's chances of retaining his post appear slender, especially now that he's locked in a neck-and-neck race with rival Ayad Allawi, the man who was Iraq's first post-war prime minister. | 03/17/10 19:55:39 By - Hannah Allam and Laith Hammoudi

Slow progress in Iraq vote count fuels suspicions

Iraq's embattled election commission announced Tuesday that 79 percent of the votes from parliamentary elections have been counted, a breakthrough for a process so slow that it's raised suspicions of fraud. The close race got even closer as a secular rival edged nearer to Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki's coalition. | 03/16/10 17:28:49 By - Hannah Allam

A week after Iraqi elections, vote count far from complete

Partial election results released Sunday for all of Iraq's 18 provinces showed Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki's coalition ahead of formidable rivals, both secular and religious, in a tight race that's complicated by a glacial vote-counting process and allegations of fraud. | 03/14/10 17:34:00 By - Hannah Allam

U.N. seeing no evidence of major fraud in Iraq vote

United Nations officials have yet to detect the kind of massive vote fraud in Iraq that would be a major factor in the outcome, they said Friday. Most of the complaints of irregularities in the election have involved relatively small numbers of voters or ballots, they said. Their comments came as Iraqi politicians, locked in an extremely close race, are complaining loudly about voter intimidation and ballot tampering. | 03/12/10 17:18:54 By - Jane Arraf

Iraqi race is tight amid claims of election fraud

Partial results from Sunday's parliamentary elections showed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki ahead in two southern provinces but apparently trailing former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi in two central provinces, indicating a tight race amid allegations of fraud. | 03/11/10 13:19:06 By - Hannah Allam

Iraqi turnout pegged at 62 per cent in Sunday's elections

Iraq election workers began tallying votes from 47,000 polling stations across the country Monday, a day after the country pulled off a landmark vote despite scattered dozens of explosions that went off in Baghdad and in other parts of the country. | 03/08/10 16:26:06 By - Jane Arraf

Iraqis vote despite explosions, but now comes the hard part

Iraqis braved a wave of bombings to vote in landmark elections, but no candidate is likely to win an outright majority, which means that it will take months of horse-trading for politicians to form a new government. | 03/07/10 17:05:10 By - Hannah Allam and Sahar Issa

LIVE BLOG: Polls now closed in Iraq after day of bombings

Iraqi polls closed after a day of bombings that began almost as soon as the polls opened. The spokesman for Iraq's security forces in Baghdad said that despite the bombing people turned out to vote, and President Barack Obama saluted them for that. | 03/07/10 16:44:17 By -

Obama: The future of Iraq belongs to the people of Iraq

President Barack Obama congratulated the people of Iraq for voting in the face of violence. He pledged to continue the U.S. withdrawal. "By the end of next year, all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq," he said. The White House released the full text of his remarks. | 03/07/10 16:41:27 By -

Iraqis turn out to vote amid wave of bombing attacks

A wave of attacks on Iraq's election day tapered off by mid-afternoon, and before the polls closed at 5 p.m., Iraqis in even the most volatile cities made their way to heavily guarded polling stations to cast ballots in what were billed as the first elections organized, carried out and secured by Iraqis. | 03/07/10 10:45:19 By - Hannah Allam

Nada: No plans for college

Nada Hatem Farhan toys with a heart-shaped red pen at the small desk in her bedroom and talks about the gap between the life she expects to have and the one she really wants. She doesn't think any politician running in Sunday's parliamentary elections will have an effect on her future. | 03/05/10 19:03:05 By - Jane Arraf

Youssif: A search for justice

Youssif Mukhtar wants to right the wrongs of the injustice he sees around him. But first he has to get through high school. | 03/05/10 16:08:36 By - Jane Arraf

Rami: 'If I had the chance, I'd leave'

In the soft light filtering in from the shattered windows of the Baghdad Fine Arts Institute, Rami Hussein raises his hands to direct his fellow students in a thoroughly modern and anguished adaptation of the world's oldest story — an adaptation of the Mesopotamian epic Gilgamesh. | 03/05/10 15:50:00 By - Jane Arraf

As U.S. prepares to leave after 7 years, Iraq's future uncertain

When the Bush administration invaded Iraq seven years ago, it pledged to leave behind a democracy that would be a model for the entire Middle East. Instead, it now appears that the United States will leave behind a big question mark. | 03/05/10 18:11:00 By - Warren P. Strobel

For Iraq's young voters, a sense of hopelessness

Radio host Shahad Abdul Kareem, the rhinestones on her T-shirt and sequined headband sparkling, sits in the semidarkness of the Voice of Fallujah studio waiting for the generator to kick in so she can reach out to young listeners and find out what's on their minds. | 03/05/10 16:57:46 By - Jane Arraf

Suicide bombs before Iraq election show Al Qaida still active

As early voting begins for the Iraq election this weekend, tribal sheiks say Al Qaida in Iraq (AQI) is alive and well on the outskirts of Baghdad - a belt of communities crucial to the capital's security. | 03/04/10 15:32:00 By - Jane Arraf

Defying bombers, Iraqi security forces vote en masse

Shrapnel had flown into Ali al Tamimi's eyes, and both his legs were broken. Not even 24 hours after receiving the injuries in a bombing northeast of Baghdad, however, Tamimi cast a ballot from his hospital bed, joining hundreds of thousands of other Iraqis who voted Thursday in an early round reserved for those who might not be able to make it to the polls for Sunday's parliamentary election. | 03/04/10 12:30:02 By - Hannah Allam

Suicide bombings target Iraqi police in Baqouba, killing 33

Three powerful suicide bombings killed at least 33 people and wounded more than 50 others in the restive Diyala province northeast of Baghdad, authorities said, with most of the casualties Iraqi police who were in charge of securing the province's capital city ahead of elections Sunday. | 03/03/10 08:55:43 By - Hannah Allam

A Q&A on Iraq's March 7 parliamentary elections

On Sunday, Iraqis will vote in parliamentary elections that will shape their country's future. Here are some of the major questions along with answers culled from United Nations, U.S. and other international and Iraqi sources. | 03/02/10 18:44:00 By - Hannah Allam

Iraq's Christians under attack again as elections approach

In the living room of a cousin's house, Vivian al Dahan and her brothers poured out the details of how their father was kidnapped and killed a week ago in Mosul. Their mother kept trying not to cry. Adnan Hannah al Dahan was the first of at least eight Iraqi Christians who've been killed in the northern Iraqi city in the past two weeks. | 03/02/10 17:33:09 By - Jane Arraf

Iraqi elections have high stakes, but low bar

The candidates include sitting judges and journalists who are covering the elections, but in Iraq, no one's complaining about conflicts of interest. Handing out guns, cash and appliances to woo voters? No big deal. The names on the ballot include officials accused of large-scale corruption, fielding death squads and spying for Iran. | 03/02/10 18:02:00 By - Hannah Allam

Iraq tensions rise after Kurds threaten to arrest Arab governor

In a sign of heightened Arab-Kurd tension along a disputed boundary just days from Iraq elections, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan says the governor of the adjoining Arab-majority province will be arrested if he enters Kurdish-controlled areas. | 03/01/10 17:03:00 By - Jane Arraf, Christian Science Monitor

Iraqis poke fun at their election candidates' posturing

Analyzing, judging and — especially — mocking campaign posters has become a national pastime as Iraqis prepare to vote on March 7. Not only a way to needle the political elite, it's much safer for ordinary Iraqis to make fun of the 6,000 or so candidates than it is for them to voice their opinions on the issues: securing the nation, religious vs. nationalist agendas, rampant corruption, the lack of basic services and a dismal economy. | 02/27/10 13:40:00 By - Hannah Allam

Ex-U.S. ally Chalabi, now Iran's friend, likely winner in Iraq

Pundits periodically declare Ahmad Chalabi finished — personally discredited, his cronies arrested, his calls intercepted — only to watch him reemerge with even more powerful backers. Now, his jockeying ahead of the March 7 election all but assures him a parliamentary seat at the very least, perhaps cabinet-level if his bloc fares well. | 02/26/10 19:34:00 By - Hannah Allam and Warren P. Strobel

Iraqi parliamentarian denies U.S. charges of terrorism

Abu Mahdi al Mohandas is one of more than 6,000 candidates who are running in the Iraqi parliamentary elections next month, but he's probably the only contender who won't set foot on the campaign trail for fear of a U.S. assassination attempt. | 02/24/10 18:04:00 By - Hannah Allam and Warren P. Strobel

Iraqi campaign worker killed along with wife, six children

Assailants burst into the home of an Iraqi campaign volunteer before dawn Monday, fatally shooting the man before they stabbed his pregnant wife and their five daughters to death, relatives and authorities said. A sixth child, the only son, was found hanging from a ceiling fan with key arteries severed, a cousin said. (Warning: graphic video) | 02/22/10 17:33:00 By - Hannah Allam

Iraq election dispute cools despite suicide car bombing

A suicide car bomber killed at least 11 people Thursday in an apparent election-related attack near provincial government buildings, while Iraqi politicians stepped back from a raging dispute over banned candidates that has raised warnings of a new civil war. | 02/18/10 17:58:00 By - Jane Arraf

Iraqis open parliamentary election campaign

Campaigning opened Friday for Iraq's parliamentary elections in an election season marked by high-profile attacks and overshadowed by the banning of more than 500 candidates for alleged ties to former dictator Saddam Hussein's outlawed Baath Party. | 02/12/10 17:04:00 By - Jane Arraf

Kidnapping of U.S. contractor in Baghdad said to be 'one-off'

The kidnapping of an Iraqi-American military contractor in Baghdad appears to be the work of a splinter group in response to a breakdown in political reconciliation talks in Iraq rather than a return to the high-profile kidnappings of Westerners, according to U.S. military officials and analysts. | 02/11/10 18:39:00 By - Jane Arraf

Iraq orders 200 current, former Blackwater employees to leave

Iraq has ordered more than 200 current and former employees of the private security company formerly known as Blackwater, which still plays a role in guarding U.S. diplomats, to leave the country within the next four days. Five of the company's guards were involved in a September 2007 shooting that killed 17 Iraqi civilians. | 02/10/10 20:31:00 By - Jane Arraf and Warren P. Strobel

Tiny outpost in Iraq gets its golf clubs

The soldiers serving at Joint Security Station Aqur Quf had a problem: They had a hitting mat and tens of thousands of golf balls, but only two clubs. Thanks to the kindness of Tacoma, Wash., that's not a problem anymore. | 02/09/10 14:27:21 By - Scott Fontaine

Bombing of Shiite pilgrimage bodes more Iraqi violence

Two car bombs killed as many as 40 people and wounded at least 140 more Friday during the culmination of the annual Shiite Muslim pilgrimage to the holy city of Karbala, making this year's commemoration the bloodiest since Saddam Hussein fell. | 02/05/10 11:43:00 By - Jane Arraf and Sahar Issa

In Iraq, banned Sunni Muslim candidates are back in the race

An Iraqi appeals commission Wednesday lifted a ban on more than 570 mostly Sunni Muslim candidates in Iraq's March 7 parliamentary elections, allowing them to run and possibly averting a sectarian showdown that had threatened to disrupt the elections. | 02/03/10 17:31:00 By - Scott Peterson and Sahar Issa

Banned Sunni Muslim candidates are back in Iraq election

An Iraqi appeals commission Wednesday lifted a ban on more than 570 mostly Sunni Muslim candidates in Iraq's March 7 parliamentary elections, possibly averting a sectarian showdown that had threatened to disrupt the elections. | 02/03/10 18:57:54 By - Scott Peterson and Sahar Issa

Latest Iraq bombing targets Shiite pilgrims, kills at least 46

A female suicide bomber walked into a tent full of Shiite Muslim pilgrims on Monday, killing at least 46 people and wounding another 100 in the latest attack in the run-up to Iraqi elections next month. | 02/01/10 18:47:00 By - Jane Arraf and Sahar Issa

Tough old soldier battles new enemy: Suicide epidemic

It's been roughly five years since Rhodes came home from his third tour in Iraq, and despite a highly-decorated 29-year career in the Army, and praise from the likes of Gen. George Casey, the Army chief of staff, for his efforts in suicide prevention, retired Command Sgt. Maj. Samuel Rhodes still wrestles with his own demons. | 01/31/10 00:01:00 By - Halimah Abdullah

Iraqi father vows to pursue U.S. lawsuit against Blackwater

Mohammed Kinani, an Iraqi businessman whose 9-year-old son died in the 2007 shootings, said the North Carolina-based security firm has threatened him and offered him $20,000 to stop asking questions about the bloody shooting spree that killed 17 Iraqis in a crowded Baghdad traffic circle. A federal charge threw out criminal charges against the Blackwater guards and another group of survivors has settled. But Kinani says he won't until Blackwater apologizes. | 01/30/10 08:56:13 By - Doug Miller

U.S. blames al Qaida in Iraq for Baghdad bombing spree

A suicide car bomb detonated outside the Iraqi Interior Ministry's forensics department in Baghdad Tuesday, killing more than 18 people, injuring more than 80 and severely damaging the building in the second consecutive day of high-profile attacks. | 01/26/10 15:35:41 By - Jane Arraf and Sahar Issa

For second day in a row, Baghdad is bombed; 18 dead

A suicide car bomb detonated outside the Interior Ministry's forensics department in Baghdad Tuesday, killing more than 18 people and severely damaging the building in the second consecutive day of high-profile attacks. At least 80 people were injured in the blast. | 01/26/10 13:14:05 By - Jane Arraf

30 dead as Iraq bombs target hotels popular with Westerners

Bombings at three of Baghdad's most popular hotels killed more than 30 people on Monday in what appeared to be the latest round of coordinated attacks aimed at destabilizing the Iraqi government. The bombings came on the day Iraq's government announced that it had executed Ali Hassin al Majid, known as Chemical Ali, who had received four death sentences for his campaigns against Iraqi Kurds and Shiites during Saddam Husseins regime. | 01/25/10 12:23:46 By - Jane Arraf

Marines to mark official end of their Anbar mission in Iraq

U.S. Marines formally end their presence in Iraq's Anbar province Saturday, marking the conclusion of a bloody seven-year battle that claimed hundreds of Marine lives and featured some of the war's fiercest fighting. | 01/22/10 18:56:00 By - Nancy A. Youssef

Rarely used flying bomb strikes new targets in Iraq

U.S. troops stationed at an outpost in southern Iraq heard a chilling whistle, and then a 60-pound airborne bomb punched through a concrete blast wall and sent shrapnel flying, wounding three Americans. | 01/15/10 15:47:00 By - Hannah Allam

Deadly bombings strike Iraqi holy city of Najaf

Three bombs exploded in quick succession after sunset Thursday in the southern holy city of Najaf, killing at least one person and injuring scores of others, according to preliminary reports from Iraqi authorities. | 01/14/10 13:06:00 By - Qassim Zein and Hannah Allam

More candidates may be banned from Iraqi elections

Iraqi officials met late into the night Wednesday to determine how many candidates should be barred from running in the March elections after a panel determined that they had ties to Saddam Hussein's former Baath Party. | 01/13/10 17:09:00 By - Hannah Allam and Sahar Issa

Itching for battle, U.S. troops in Iraq stage fight nights

Hard rock thumped through the speakers and nonalcoholic beer flowed as more than 1,000 amped-up American soldiers crowded around a makeshift boxing ring one evening earlier this month at a U.S. base in southern Iraq. "Let's get ready to ruuuumble!" the emcee bellowed, kicking off Contingency Operating Base Adder's first Friday Night Fights, where American servicemen, special forces and private contractors beat each other bloody in mixed martial arts bouts that are spreading fast on U.S. installations throughout Iraq. | 01/11/10 15:14:00 By - Hannah Allam

Iraqis question U.S. convoy's driving in fatal crash

Dazed and blood-spattered, an Iraqi woman stumbled among the bodies of her relatives Wednesday on a strip of highway south of Baghdad where a U.S. military convoy had struck a passenger van in a deadly accident. Iraqi forces and witnesses at the scene said the U.S. convoy was driving in the wrong lane when the vehicles collided, killing five members of one family and injuring seven more Iraqis and three American soldiers. | 01/06/10 10:22:00 By - Hannah Allam

Fort Lewis soldier undeterred after near-fatal blast in Iraq

It was during a deployment with Fort Lewis' 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division that a bomb attack almost killed Sgt. 1st Class Jed Berman in 2004. Now he's back in Iraq with scars that run across his body from the near-fatal attack. His reputation among fellow soldiers is hard-boiled. | 01/03/10 12:02:20 By - Scott Fontaine

The 'coalition of the willing' in Iraq becomes an army of one

The British said cheerio back in July, around the same time the Romanians cleared out "Camp Dracula," their compound on a U.S. base in southern Iraq. Tonga and Kazakhstan left ages ago, and no one seems to remember if any Icelandic forces ever made it to Iraq. It doesn't matter now, anyway, because as of Friday, former president George W. Bush's "coalition of the willing" formally ceases to exist. | 12/31/09 17:10:00 By - Hannah Allam

Judge dismisses charges in Blackwater shooting of 17 Iraqis

The 17 Iraqis were killed when Blackwater guards guarding a State Department convoy opened fire, apparently without provocation. The Iraqi government wanted the guards to face trial in Iraq, but the Bush administration pressed for prosecution in the United States. U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina said government prosecutors erred by using sworn statements from people who'd been granted immunity to build their case. | 12/31/09 17:46:52 By -

Can a city awash in guns, grenades and explosives ever be safe?

Faux car bombs designed to check the ability of Iraqi police to spot explosives are just one of the efforts that the Iraqi government, with U.S. help, is making to protect Baghdad, a city of roughly 6 million. There are nearly 1,500 fixed and mobile checkpoints; blast walls; controversial hand-held explosive detectors; and armed security personnel on virtually every corner. | 12/30/09 14:20:00 By - Warren P. Strobel and Mohammed al Dulaimy

Anbar bombings raise fears of renewed Iraqi violence

A sophisticated attack in the provincial capital of Ramadi that left at least 24 dead and wounded 58 others, including the governor, was the deadliest in months for Anbar and raised fears that an uneasy peace that's prevailed for two years may be unraveling. | 12/30/09 00:27:00 By - Jamal Naji and Hannah Allam

Coordinated bombings seriously wound Anbar governor

The three-pronged attack began at about 10 a.m. when a car bomb exploded at a busy intersection outside the Anbar government and police compound in the provincial capital of Ramadi — just as Anbar Gov. Qasim al Fahdawi prepared to leave for a ground-breaking. As the governor inspected the blast site, a suicide bomber struck, seriously wounding him. A third bomb seemed designed to block other exits. At least 24 people died. | 12/30/09 07:47:55 By - Jamal Naji and Hannah Allam

Defying suicide bombers, Iraqi Shiites mark somber holiday

Carrying banners with an air of defiance, thousands of Shiite Muslims made the trek toward southern holy cities Friday to lament the death of a revered 7th-century martyr even as they grieved for at least 30 Iraqis killed in recent days. | 12/25/09 15:29:00 By - Hannah Allam

U.S. troops in Iraq are doing detective work

In Iraq, U.S. soldiers increasingly find themselves in detective-like roles. They investigate crimes, chase leads and build cases against suspects. They gather enough information so that an Iraqi court can order an arrest warrant, and then Iraqi security forces can arrest the suspect. It is one of the ways the American military's mission in Iraq has transformed in the last several months into an advisory and training capacity. | 12/22/09 07:47:11 By - Scott Fontaine

Iraq accuses Iran of sending troops to seize disputed oil well

Senior officials in Baghdad and in southern Iraq said that an unknown number of Iranian troops crossed into Iraq early Friday, where they raised the Iranian flag at an oil well in Iraq's part of the Fakkah oil field, one of several fields that Iraq and Iran share. There were no reports of violence or shots fired, but the incident sent Iraqi security chiefs scrambling into emergency meetings. | 12/18/09 16:52:00 By - Hannah Allam

Iranian dissident group defies order to leave Iraq

An Iranian dissident group vowed Tuesday not to abandon its besieged camp north of Baghdad despite an Iraqi military ultimatum to pull up stakes or face an eviction that could turn bloody. | 12/15/09 15:51:00 By - Laith Hammoudi

Maliki, pressed over bombings, offers up interior minister

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, challenged by parliament Thursday to explain the lapses that led to a recent series of devastating car bombings, distanced himself from his interior minister and blamed the security gaps on "political infighting." | 12/10/09 18:11:00 By - Warren P. Strobel and Jenan Hussein

Baghdad security chief out after deadly car bombings

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki Wednesday removed the chief military official responsible for security in the capital and prepared for a public grilling about security lapses after five car bombs killed 127 people in Baghdad a day earlier. | 12/09/09 16:39:00 By - Warren P. Strobel and Laith Hammoudi

String of bombings in Baghdad kills 127 people

At least five car bombs ripped through neighborhoods across Baghdad on Tuesday morning, killing 127 Iraqis and prompting urgent questions about Iraq's security forces just as the country gears up for national elections early next year. The bombings ended a period of relative calm in Baghdad, and there was no immediate claim of responsibility. | 12/08/09 06:27:46 By - Warren P. Strobel and Mohammed al Dulaimy

Obama, Biden phoned Kurds to press Iraq election deal

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden intervened personally to save an agreement allowing Iraq's elections to proceed, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Monday, highlighting the stakes in the deal for an eventual American troop withdrawal. | 12/07/09 17:47:00 By - Warren P. Strobel

Iraqis reach last-minute election deal; February vote possible

The Iraqi parliament approved a revised elections law that expands the parliament from 275 to 325 seats, and redistributes them among the country's 18 provinces to satisfy sparring religious sects and ethnic groups. No final date for the elections was set, but the United Nations has proposed that they take place Feb. 27. | 12/06/09 17:36:00 By - Warren P. Strobel and Mohammed Al Dulaimy

Iraq closes one of its quietest post-invasion months

From the rickety upper deck of the small tour boat cruising the Tigris River, it was easy to imagine Baghdad as a peaceful city again. | 12/01/09 16:51:00 By - Warren P. Strobel

As U.S. focus turns to Afghanistan, Iraq challenges remain

While President Barack Obama prepares to announce that he's sending tens of thousands more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, his problems in Iraq are far from over. The country's power struggles among Sunni and Shiite Muslim Arabs and between Arabs and Kurds are unfinished, and whether they will turn violent again remains uncertain. | 11/30/09 18:01:00 By - Warren P. Strobel

Supreme Court rules to keep detainee abuse photos secret

The Supreme Court did all it could Monday to lock up forever some incendiary photos that show U.S. soldiers abusing foreign prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan. | 11/30/09 00:58:00 By - Michael Doyle

Dispute over law means delay likely for Iraq elections

Iraq's pivotal national elections, originally scheduled for January, faced a likely delay of weeks or even longer after wrangling over a law setting terms for the polls broke down Monday. | 11/23/09 16:18:00 By - Sahar Issa and Warren P. Strobel

Ethnic infighting likely to doom January elections in Iraq

Shiite and Kurdish politicians on Monday responded to last week's veto of Iraq's election law by a Sunni vice president by passing a new version that would cut Sunni voting power still more. The new law is almost certain to be vetoed as well, making a January date for elections unlikely. That could undercut U.S. hopes for a speedy withdrawal of U.S. troops. | 11/23/09 13:18:14 By - Sahar Issa and Warren P. Strobel

Soldier's family brings fight with contractor to Congress

Army Lt. Col. Dominic "Rocky" Baragona was killed in Iraq on the very day that he was going home. He was en route, heading south on the road between Baghdad and Kuwait City, when a tractor-trailer lost control, jackknifed across the highway and crushed his Humvee. His parents, Dominic and Vilma Baragona, and a sister, were on Capitol Hill Wednesday to tell a Senate hearing how their quest for justice after his death has been a frustrating effort. | 11/18/09 19:21:00 By - David Goldstein

Iraqi elections in jeopardy as Sunni VP vetoes key law

Iraq's pivotal national elections were thrown back into turmoil and potential delay Wednesday, after Vice President Tariq al Hashemi vetoed part of an election law and sent it back to parliament. Hashemi, a Sunni Muslim, charged that the measure doesn't provide adequate representation for millions of displaced Iraqis, most of whom are thought to be Sunnis. | 11/18/09 09:36:29 By - Warren P. Strobel and Mohammed al Dulaimy

Schwarzenegger visits troops in Iraq

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger visited troops Monday in Iraq at a military camp outside Baghdad for the first time as California governor, signing autographs and recounting his own experience as an Austrian tank driver. | 11/17/09 06:51:56 By - Kevin Yamamura

Assailants massacre Sunni men, youths in Iraq's Abu Ghraib

In a massacre that revived memories of Iraq's worst years of sectarian bloodshed, assailants dressed in Iraqi army uniforms savagely killed 13 men and boys late Sunday near the restive city of Abu Ghraib, according to Iraqi officials and villagers. | 11/16/09 00:53:00 By - Warren P. Strobel and Sahar Issa

Along Baghdad street, a debate over limits of free expression

Yaser Adnan, who owns a bookstore on Baghdad's Mutanabi Street, got new regulations from Iraq's Ministry of Culture last July. Trucks full of his books now sit at Iraq's borders for two to three weeks while he runs the list of titles by the authorities and gets the multiple approvals he needs to import them. | 11/13/09 15:10:00 By - McClatchy Newspapers

Accustomed to danger, Iraqi journalists now face legal attacks

Warid Badr Salim's front-page satire in last Saturday's edition of the newspaper al Mada compared Iraq's parliament to wolves stalking sheep — the Iraqi people — and cheekily suggested that its members need the diplomatic passports they've awarded themselves just to leave Baghdad's fortresslike Green Zone. | 11/13/09 15:11:00 By - Jenan Hussein and Warren P. Strobel

Gov. Schwarzenegger to visit troops in Iraq

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will travel to Iraq early next week to visit U.S. troops. Schwarzenegger previously visited troops on United Service Organizations-sponsored tours in 2002 to Bosnia to preview his movie, "Collateral Damage," as well as in 2003 to Iraq to show "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines." | 11/12/09 07:01:26 By - Kevin Yamamura

Now that parliament approved elections, Iraqis are ambivalent

Obama administration officials breathed a collective sigh of relief Sunday when Iraq's parliament, after weeks of delays, approved a law to hold national elections in January, very likely permitting a major post-election withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq. | 11/10/09 16:44:00 By - Warren P. Strobel and Laith Hammoudi

Iraqis pass election law crucial to U.S. withdrawal plans

After nearly a dozen delays and a final, rowdy session, Iraq's parliament on Sunday passed a law setting national elections for January, averting for now a political crisis that threatened to unravel the country's slow progress toward stability. Two major issues were decided: Officials will use voter rolls from 2009 to decide who can vote in the conflicted Kirkuk area and candidates will be listed by name on the ballot so voters can vote for individuals, not parties. | 11/08/09 15:43:00 By - Warren P. Strobel and Sahar Issa

Iraqis set elections for Jan. 23 after weeks of rancor

After nearly a dozen delays and a final, rowdy session, Iraq's parliament on Sunday passed an election law setting up national elections for January and averting for now a political crisis that threatened to unravel the country's slow progress toward stability. Approval of the law eases a growing source of concern for the Obama administration — whether conditions in Iraq will allow a faster withdrawal as the U.S. increases its troop presence in Afghanistan. | 11/08/09 14:01:17 By - Warren P. Strobel and Sahar Issa

Fort Hood gunman was bound for Afghanistan, not Iraq

Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist suspected of killing 12 soldiers at Fort Hood Thursday, was in the "deployment window" and was headed for Afghanistan, not Iraq, as some sources had reported. Witnesses said he shouted the traditional Muslim blessing "Allahu Akbar" as he opened fire. | 11/06/09 12:23:42 By - Nancy A. Youssef

Iraqis at the brink: Election law delayed again

Iraqi lawmakers blew another deadline Thursday as they continued haggling over an election law that's crucial to the country's political stability and to the Obama administration's plans for a speedy withdrawal of U.S. troops. | 11/05/09 15:14:00 By - Warren P. Strobel

Iraqis' election-law battle rages over status of Kirkuk

Up against the clock, Iraqi politicians spent Wednesday hammering out the final sticking points of an election law they hope to present to parliament for a vote within days to avoid a risky and embarrassing delay of the January polls. | 10/28/09 16:27:00 By - Sahar Issa and Hannah Allam

Al Qaida in Iraq claims attacks against Iraqi government

Militants linked to al Qaida in Iraq claimed responsibility for a pair of powerful truck bombs that killed 155 people and wounded 600 Sunday in the latest insurgent assault on the fragile Iraqi government of U.S.-backed Prime Minister Nouri al Malaki. | 10/27/09 17:06:00 By - Sahar Issa and Hannah Allam

Large trucks used in Iraq bombings that killed 155

Iraqi authorities said Monday that suicide bombers had used two large trucks -- a water tanker and a refrigerated food truck -- in attacks Sunday that killed at least 155 people and wounded nearly 600, the deadliest bombings since 2007. | 10/26/09 15:47:00 By - Sahar Issa and Hannah Allam

Massive bombings cast doubt on Iraqi security, elections

Suicide car bombers killed at least 132 people and wounded another 600 outside Iraqi government buildings Sunday morning. The bombings were the deadliest in more than two years and drew particular outrage because they struck at cabinet ministries and city government offices that are supposed to be especially secure. | 10/25/09 09:44:19 By - Mohammed al Dulaimy and Hannah Allam

IG: Pricey new U.S. Embassy in Iraq has 'multiple' flaws

The $736 million new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which American diplomats have occupied for 18 months, contains "multiple significant construction deficiencies" and the U.S. government should try to recover more than $130 million from the contractor who built it, according to a report to be released Thursday. | 10/22/09 10:26:00 By - Warren P. Strobel

Impasse over Iraqi election law may slow U.S. withdrawal

After three days of long sessions and continuous delays, the Iraqi parliament failed Wednesday to reach agreement on a new election law, asked a little-used national political council to resolve the impasse and adjourned until Sunday. | 10/21/09 16:47:00 By - Laith Hammoudi and Jenan Hussein

Senators ask Obama to review personality-disorder discharges

At issue is whether the Pentagon is avoiding treating soldiers for post-traumatic stress disorder by claiming they had a personality disorder before they were sent to Iraq or Afghanistan and discharging them from the military. Four senators wrote Obama this week, remding him that as a senator he fought for better mental-health care for troops. | 10/20/09 17:22:00 By - David Goldstein

Iraqi parliament delays vote again on direct elections

Iraq's parliament failed again Tuesday to vote on legislation that would allow Iraqis to cast ballots directly for candidates in parliamentary elections scheduled for January, rather than choosing political party lists that don't name the candidates. | 10/20/09 15:33:00 By - Sahar Issa

In Najaf, Iraq's Shiite clerics push for direct elections

If there's one place in Iraq outside the parliament itself that will set the tone for the country's politics, it's Najaf, a dusty city of about 900,000 that was neglected under Saddam Hussein's Sunni Muslim dictatorship. Najaf is to Shiites what Vatican City is to Roman Catholics, but some of Shiite Islam's highest spiritual figures operate here out of public view, issuing occasional utterances on issues they consider central to Iraqi society. | 10/19/09 15:21:00 By - Roy Gutman

Iraqis say they want U.S. investment, strategic support

Three months after U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq's cities and started packing their bags, violence is down dramatically, and the U.S. seems to be assuming a role as supporter, protector and mentor. | 10/18/09 17:54:00 By - Roy Gutman

An Iraqi primary election draws crowds but lacks safeguards

Hundreds of thousands of supporters of Muqtada al Sadr voted in primary elections Friday in an attempt by the radical Shiite Muslim cleric to restore his party's popularity, which was shaken in the last elections early this year. | 10/16/09 16:40:00 By - Jenan Hussein and Mohammad al Dulaimy

Iraqi spokesman calls series of attacks 'only a robbery'

Eight people were killed and 14 were injured Wednesday in attacks on Baghdad's Shiite Muslim neighborhood of Shula, police said. | 10/14/09 15:24:00 By - Laith Hammoudi

Iraqis arrest former top aide in Saddam's regime

Iraqi security forces seized a top aide to the most wanted man in Iraq, capturing him Sunday in a helicopter raid in Diyala province, an Iraqi security official who participated in the raid said Monday. | 10/12/09 18:12:00 By - Sahar Issa

Iraq's Anbar bombings only latest sign of trouble

Bombers attacked a crowded parking lot outside the provincial government's headquarters Sunday, then detonated a car bomb aimed at rescue workers. A third bomb exploded outside the hospital where survivors were being treated. At least 23 people, mostly civilians, were killed, and more than 80 were wounded in the attacks, raising fears that Islamist extremists are trying to retake Sunni Muslim territories they lost | 10/11/09 16:38:51 By - Mohammad al Dulaimy and Jamal Naji

Three car bombs rip through Ramadi, at least 19 dead

Three powerful car bombs ripped through the western Iraqi city of Ramadi on Sunday, killing at least 19 people and injuring more than 80 others, Iraqi police and health officials said. | 10/11/09 10:55:08 By - Jamal Naji

Iranian dissidents in Iraq transferred to remote prison

Iraqi security officials beat and forcibly transferred 36 members of an Iranian dissident group to a remote southern prison despite an Iraqi judge's orders to free them, the judge and the group's leaders said Monday. | 10/05/09 16:08:00 By - Sahar Issa

Iraqis, Americans seeking a new relationship

Advise and assist brigades are at the vanguard of a paradigm shift in the U.S. military's approach to Iraq, from a combat-focused mission to a tenuous partnership with Iraqi forces many of whom with ties to factions that have attacked Americans. They are billed as the American future in Iraq. But that means forging a new relationship with Iraqis, and getting past suspicions on both sides. | 10/05/09 01:00:00 By - Hannah Allam

For U.S. combat soldiers, new role in Iraq is frustrating

Before Army 1st Lt. Bianca Philson's first deployment to Iraq earlier this year, she trained as a battle captain, learning how to keep commanders informed of progress during fierce fights against insurgents. Philson's extensive drills included simulated urban gun battles, intelligence gathering and jamming signals to prevent the detonation of roadside bombs. Now that she's been in Iraq for five months, how much of that training is put into practice? "None," said Philson, 24. "I don't do any of that stuff." | 10/05/09 01:00:00 By - Hannah Allam

Soldier's battles span from Vietnam to Iraq

He turned 19 in the tropics and 59 in a desert. Neither birthday was especially memorable -- except that each time, people wanted to kill him. | 10/04/09 11:13:29 By - Chris Rosenblum

Bomb scare forces evacuation of Iraqi parliament

A bomb scare forced the evacuation Saturday of the Iraqi parliament building after explosives-sniffing dogs alerted authorities to a possible threat an hour before lawmakers were to meet. | 10/03/09 11:37:00 By - Mohammad al Dulaimy

Maliki unveils new national, nonsectarian Iraqi party

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki on Thursday unveiled his alliance for parliamentary elections in January, billing the ticket as a national, nonsectarian force to challenge a rival Shiite Muslim slate that has broader support among the country's religious authorities. | 10/01/09 17:08:00 By - Mohammad al Dulaimy

Kansas doctor's side practice: working to overthrow Iran regime

Saeid Sajadi left Iran when he was 20 — nearly a quarter of a century ago — to escape the religious repression. He now operates three cosmetic medicine clinics in Kansas and Missouri and practices emergency medicine as well. Sajadi also probably logs several hundred air miles each week to help a group of Iranian dissidents devoted to toppling the regime. | 09/25/09 14:57:00 By - David Goldstein

Web forums help Iraqi refugees adapt to America

After years of backlog, the United States is admitting Iraqis in record numbers 17,000 were resettled this year, up from just 202 in 2006 but the refugees are arriving in the midst of a dire economic crisis with few job prospects and only a few months of federal assistance before they're left to fend for themselves. | 09/23/09 16:27:00 By - Hannah Allam

Did Iraq veteran's PTSD spark his shoplifting charge?

John Mayo left the Army in July rather than stand trial for shoplifting from the base PX. But he insists he doesn't remember the theft and that the drugs the Army prescribed for PTSD often left him with periods of amnesia. | 09/17/09 15:20:18 By - Julia O'Malley

U.S. military closes huge prison in southern Iraq

The U.S. military on Wednesday announced the closing of the sprawling Camp Bucca prison in southern Iraq, transferring $50 million in infrastructure and custody of all but 180 of the site's detainees to the Iraqi government. | 09/16/09 18:18:00 By - Hannah Allam

Iraqi baseball team finally in uniform, thanks to U.S. donors

Smiles broke out earlier this week as members of the Iraqi national baseball team tore into boxes filled with brand-new uniforms, courtesy of a Seattle-based company that donated the gear after a profile of the fledgling team by McClatchy and a national appeal by MSNBC. | 09/16/09 15:39:00 By - Laith Hammoudi

Fatal shootings of 14 Iraqis came after Blackwater was put on notice

Federal authorities had warned Blackwater that its private security employees had committed violent acts against innocent Iraqi civilians long before a 2007 shooting incident that killed at least 14 people, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in North Carolina. | 09/16/09 11:26:22 By - Fred Clasen-Kelly

Iraqi who threw shoes at Bush freed, welcomed as hero

The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at then-President Bush last year was freed from prison Tuesday, expressing no remorse for hurling what he called "my flower to the occupier." His colleagues slaughtered sheep and danced in celebration of his release. | 09/15/09 10:06:00 By - Hannah Allam

What Iraqi journalist who threw shoes at Bush had to say

Muntadhar al Zaidi, the Iraqi reporter who threw his shoes at former President Bush last year in an act of protest that gained international notoriety, was freed from an Iraqi prison Tuesday after nine months behind bars. He gave a news conference after his release that included a lengthy explanation for his actions. | 09/15/09 08:16:06 By -

Another legacy of war: Iraqis losing faith in public schools

Six years ago, before the U.S.-led invasion ousted Saddam's dictatorship, the country didn't have a single private school. Over the past two years, the number has more than doubled, from 66 to 175. That trend says as much about diminishing respect for Iraq's public education system as it does about Iraqis' growing enthusiasm for the new schools. | 09/10/09 16:59:00 By - Sahar Issa

Truck bomb kills 20, inflames ethnic tensions in northern Iraq

A suicide truck bomber drove into a Kurdish village in northern Iraq before dawn Thursday, setting off an explosion that killed at least 20 people and wounded 30, local authorities said. | 09/10/09 11:01:00 By - Ali Abbas and Hannah Allam

Women who protested Iraq war sue over strip searches

The federal civil-rights lawsuit alleges that police and corrections officers at the city jail in Olympia, Wash., ordered the women to take off dresses and shirts "in direct violation of jail policy" in a way that completely exposed and revealed their breasts." The suit alleges that the women could be seen by "male prisoners and jail and police personnel alike." | 09/09/09 16:55:26 By - Jeremy Pawloski

Woman survived Iraq bomb, but now she can't be found

A Baghdad police officer says that he escorted Shadia Abdulbaki away from Iraq's Foreign Ministry on Aug. 19, 10 minutes after a suicide bomber triggered a massive explosion that devastated the building and surrounding area. But she hasn't been seen since. Is she wandering the streets? Did she become an amnesiac? Did someone take her in? No one can say. | 09/09/09 15:43:00 By - Adam Ashton

Maliki purge of top Iraqi security officials creates a storm

Critics of Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki said the dismissals of three senior Interior Ministry officials was an effort to weaken political rivals ahead of winter elections. Maliki allies, however, said the cause was serious security lapses revealed by the Aug. 19 car bombings that devastated the Iraqi Foreign Affairs and Finance ministries. | 09/08/09 16:14:00 By - Hannah Allam

U.S., Iraq cracking down on anti-Iran Kurdish guerrillas

A noose is tightening around the group that calls itself the last armed resistance to Iran's Islamic republic, but the Kalashnikov-carrying guerrillas are refusing to lay down their weapons and leave their camouflaged outposts in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq. | 09/06/09 06:00:00 By - Adam Ashton

In his own words: Iraqi recounts a year in U.S. custody

On Aug. 27, 2008, Ali Feisal al Lami, a senior aide to the Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi, was detained at Baghdad airport by unknown American civilians and was held in secret U.S. custody until Oct. 3, 2008, when the U.S. military acknowledges receiving him at the Camp Cropper detention center in Baghdad. Lami was released without charges on Aug. 14, 2009. | 09/04/09 17:20:04 By -

Chalabi aide: I went from White House to secret U.S. prisoner

Add to the strange saga of the Bush administration's love-hate relationship with Iraq's Ahmad Chalabi the tale pf Ali Feisal al Lami, who once met with U.S. officials in the White House, then spent nearly a year in secret U.S. detention, accused of helping Iranian-backed militants kidnap and kill American and British soldiers and contractors. During his captivity, Lami claims to have been quizzed by Army Gen. David Petraeus, then the top U.S. commander in Iraq. | 09/04/09 17:14:17 By - Hannah Allam

Assessing CIA culpability in detainee deaths will be tricky

With the appointment of special prosecutor John Durham, critics of the Bush administration's interrogation policies are hoping that the CIA's role in the alleged mistreatment of detainees finally will be revealed. | 09/03/09 18:29:00 By - Marisa Taylor and Warren P. Strobel

Baghdad makes a comeback — on Iraqi TV

When actor Ayad al Ta'i filmed in Syria during the peak of Iraq's sectarian violence, when it was too dangerous for a TV star to stay in Baghdad, he knew that something was missing from nearly every scene he shot. | 09/01/09 15:50:00 By - Jenan Hussein and Adam Ashton

Iraq, Syria trade accusations in rift over bombings

A diplomatic standoff between Iraq and neighboring Syria escalated Monday, with Baghdad demanding the extradition of suspects in a deadly bombing and Damascus insisting that there's no evidence of Syrian involvement. | 08/31/09 16:57:00 By - Hannah Allam

Court documents name detainees sent to Portugal

The two Guantanamo detainees sent to Portugal last week were a Syrian man whose father is still held at the prison camps and a former Syrian Army recruit once accused of joining forces with Afghanistan's Taliban militia, according to court documents made public Monday. | 08/31/09 12:41:38 By - Carol Rosenberg

Prominent Shiite political leader dies in Iran

Abdul Aziz al Hakim, the leader of one of Iraq's dominant Shiite Muslim political parties and a renowned cleric who resisted Saddam Hussein's regime in exile for more than 20 years, died Wednesday in Tehran. | 08/26/09 10:35:00 By - Adam Ashton

CIA sacked Baghdad station chief after deaths of 2 detainees

The CIA removed its station chief in Iraq and reorganized its operations there in late 2003 following "potentially very serious leadership lapses" that included the deaths of detainees in U.S. custody, according to a newly released document and former senior officials. | 08/25/09 19:43:56 By - Warren P. Strobel

Tensions rise as Iraq blames Baathists in Syria for bombings

Iraq Tuesday demanded that Syria hand over two high-ranking Iraqi Baath Party officials following last week's bombing of two government ministries. Iraq later recalled its ambassador from Damascus for consultations, and Syria followed suit, withdrawing its envoy from Baghdad. | 08/25/09 17:36:00 By - Adam Ashton and Laith Hammoudi

With Maliki's party out, Iraq's Shiite coalition splits

The Shiite Muslim political alliance that's led Iraq since 2005 appears to be breaking apart, with Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki's Dawa Party preparing to run for re-election independently of the other parties that had lifted him to power. | 08/24/09 16:15:00 By - Adam Ashton

Hair salons once again the fashion for women in Iraq

Religious extremists ran most Iraqi hair stylists out of business and into exile two years ago, when violence reached its peak. Cutting hair was a forbidden vocation, especially when it was the hair of women who should only be seen by their husbands. But such extremism is on the retreat in Iraq today, despite lingering violence, and hair salons once again are doing a brisk business. | 08/23/09 15:04:00 By - Jenan Hussein

Bombing of Iraqi ministry hit nearby residents hard

When a car bomb exploded Wednesday outside Iraq's Foreign Ministry, roofs collapsed and heavy walls tumbled down in the adjoining neighborhood. Days later, residents are sleeping outside, some on carpets where their families gather as the sun goes down; many simply on the bare streets. | 08/22/09 15:02:00 By - Adam Ashton

Baghdad security shakeup possible after bombings

Baghdad's mix of overlapping security agencies with murky authorities could be in line for a major makeover due to this week's deadly bombings at Iraq's Foreign and Finance ministries. | 08/21/09 16:05:00 By - Adam Ashton

Iraq 'sports city' to be designed by Kansas City architecture firm

A Kansas City architecture firm, treading where its competitors fear to go, has won a contract to design a $500 million "sports city" in Basra, Iraq. | 08/21/09 07:15:42 By - Kevin Collison

New bombings in Iraq kill 30 as Maliki moves to take control

The new blasts struck south of Baghdad, one day after a pair of bombings in central Baghdad killed at least 95. Iraqi authorities arrested 11 police and military officers in connection with Wednesday's attacks, though it wasn't clear if they were suspected of involvement or just bungling their jobs. The government more than doubled the estimate of the number of wounded Wednesday, to 1,203. | 08/20/09 13:40:00 By - Sahar Issa and Adam Ashton

Baghdad bombings question: Did U.S. draw back too fast?

Neither American officials in Washington nor Iraqi officials in Baghdad seem willing to entertain bringing U.S. troops back into the city, even though violence has risen since their withdrawal. Wednesday's bombings, which killed at least 95 and injured more than 500, came as Iraqi officials have been dismantling many of the security steps that had brought a dramatic drop in bloodshed to the Iraqi capital. | 08/19/09 18:56:00 By - Sahar Issa and Nancy A. Youssef

Bombs kill dozens on Baghdad's deadliest day in 18 months

Two trucks loaded with explosives blew up near Iraq's ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance on Wednesday, killing at least 95 people and wounding more than 500. The blast tore the facade off the Foreign Affairs Ministry and collapsed part of a bridge near the Finance Ministry. Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki blamed Sunni extremists for the attacks, which appeared intended to shake confidence in his government before January's national elections. | 08/19/09 07:53:22 By - Adam Ashton

Iraq's Anbar still reeling from war that cost jobs and lives

The rubble's gone from the explosions and bombs that tore up the commercial center of this western Iraqi city, but the jobs haven't returned. In fact, no commercial buildings have come back since Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's Anbar Province, saw some of the toughest fighting of the war | 08/18/09 15:48:00 By - Mohammed al Dulaimy

Inspired by fallen son, father completes book on Iraq

Staff Sgt. Darrell "Skip" Griffin Jr. wanted to give Americans a close-up view of his two tours of duty in Iraq, so they could see the blood and grit in the aftermath of an attack on a convoy, and feel his anxiety in watching the lives of ordinary Iraqis fall part in the crossfire between sectarian killers and the soldiers who hunted them. | 08/18/09 15:25:00 By - Adam Ashton

U.S. general wants to move troops to northern Iraq

Iraqi voters could get a chance in January to hasten the withdrawal of American forces from their country by as much as a year, sending all remaining U.S. soldiers home by the end of 2010 instead of 2011. | 08/17/09 15:55:00 By - Adam Ashton

After 6 years of democracy, Iraqis learn limits of free press

Journalist Ali al Asasdi gets to report that corruption exists in Iraqi government — he just too afraid to say who's corrupt. Journalists are finding that while they have greater freedom than they had under Saddam Hussein, they still are trying to figure out the rules. Earlier this month, the Iraqi Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Interior announced that publishers to get their permission before printing books and journalists still fear retaliation for their work. | 08/16/09 14:27:00 By - Adam Ashton

6 years after invasion, electricity still scarce in Baghdad

Dark humor flips on when the lights go out in a city that still suffers from crippling power outages despite the billions of dollars that have been invested in its grid. "Electricity is dead. Pray for its soul," reads graffiti scrawled along a wall in central Baghdad's Karrada neighborhood. | 08/14/09 11:22:00 By - Laith Hammoudi

Iraqis remaining cool despite attacks on mosques, minorities

Tempers are cool in Iraq despite a string of bombings that's killed more than 125 people in the past two weeks, fueling hopes that the attacks won't trigger retaliatory killings, at least for now. | 08/13/09 14:53:00 By - Adam Ashton and Sahar Issa

U.S. comes through: Iraqi baseball team gets new gear

The Iraqi national baseball team's only bat, an aluminum Louisville Slugger, finally can take a rest after four years of daily swings. McClatchy and MSNBC delivered a batch of new equipment Wednesday donated by CTG Athletics, a New York-based sporting goods company. Star USA, an Ohio firm, provided the shipping. | 08/12/09 10:47:00 By - Laith Hammoudi

Bombs in northern Iraq leveled 35 homes; death toll unknown

Twin truck bombs struck at 4 a.m. in a Shiite Muslim neighborhood north of Mosul. Early counts placed the number of dead at 30 and the number of wounded at 130, but police said they were still going through the rubble. Bombings in Baghdad took 19 lives as well. | 08/10/09 06:57:34 By - Laith Hammoudi and Adam Ashton

In Iraq's Kurdistan, political pessimism clouds progress

The regional capital of Kurdish northern Iraq has the feel of a massive business convention, imploring visitors on every street to invest in a safe gateway to the Iraqi economy where no American soldier has died since the first Gulf War in 1991. | 08/09/09 13:12:00 By - Adam Ashton

British contractor arrested in two killings in Baghdad

Iraqi authorities arrested a British security contractor early Sunday on suspicion that he shot two colleagues to death after an argument in Baghdad's International Zone. | 08/09/09 13:07:00 By - Adam Ashton and Laith Hammoudi

Huge Iraqi Shiite march peaceful, but bombs hit elsewhere

Iraqi security forces on Friday oversaw the peaceful march of more than 3 million Shiite Muslim worshippers honoring the birthday of one of their most important imams, the second large-scale religious event in the past month that was conducted safely without significant assistance from the American military. Elsewhere, however, a man driving a car equipped with explosives killed at least 36 people and wounded 100 at a mosque in Mosul. | 08/07/09 08:37:58 By - Jenan Hussein and Adam Ashton

Iraq's Assyrian Christians find temporary home in Kurdistan

For 35-year-old Rajo Qardaq Palander the breaking point came last year, when insurgents demanded that he pay $20,000 or abandon his home in Baghdad's Dora neighborhood. The choice was easy. He slipped out of Dora in the dead of night, joining the exodus | 08/05/09 17:43:00 By - Adam Ashton

A McClatchy reporter reflects on what war brought to Iraq

Leila Fadel began covering Iraq in 2005 and was McClatchy's bureau chief there for nearly three years until her assignment ended earlier this year. This is how she recalls her time there: "We called it a good day when only 10 died, but then there were the bad days. The day a friend died. The day when more than 300 lives were taken in minutes. The day a mother wept in my arms about her lost son, who'd been killed by a militia member, and his widow curled up in a corner of the empty room they'd shared." | 08/04/09 15:18:00 By - Leila Fadel

Iran accuses 3 Americans of entering the country illegally

The Iranian government Tuesday confirmed that it has arrested three American travelers who crossed the border from Iraq last week and accused them of illegal entry. The University of California, Berkeley, identified the detained Americans as Shane Bauer, 27, of Minnesota, Sarah Emily Shourd, 30, of California, and Joshua Felix Fattal, 27 of Pennsylvania. | 08/04/09 13:16:00 By - Adam Ashton

Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq - Sunday 2 August 2009

Eight people were killed and 20 others were injured by a car bomb in Haditha town | 08/02/09 17:11:55 By - Laith Hammoudi

U.S. identifies remains of missing Gulf War pilot Speicher

The Defense Department on Sunday said it's identified the remains of Capt. Michael Scott Speicher, a Navy pilot who has been missing since he was shot down on the first night of the Gulf War. The remains were found not far from where Speicher's plane crashed, putting to an end 18 years of uncertainty about whether he'd survived and been captured. | 08/02/09 11:35:51 By - Adam Ashton

U.S. apparel retailer suits military types in Iraqi town

Security professionals on the go might overlook the local goods in Irbil, Iraq, when they spot an outlet for 5.11 Tactical, the Modesto, Calif., uniform company known for heavy-duty equipment that suits the tastes of law enforcement and military types worldwide. | 08/01/09 18:24:06 By - Adam Ashton

Neighbors frown over military family's tattered American flag

Louis Haros knows that sun, wind and rain have taken their toll on the once-new flag. But the last thing he means is to show disrespect. He said that his love for his son, Paul Haros, and for his country, have kept it flying long after the first rips appeared. | 08/01/09 17:58:38 By - Denny Boyles

Iranian TV confirms arrest of three Americans

Iranian state TV on Saturday confirmed the arrests of three Americans who crossed into Iran from northern Iraq. Their identities haven't been released. The scenic area in Iraq's Kurdistan region, where the Americans apparently strayed across the border into Iran, is popular as a hiking and tourism destination. | 08/01/09 13:28:00 By - McClatchy Newspapers

Iran detains three Americans who strayed across border

Three American civilians were detained in Iran when they apparently strayed across the border from Iraq, Iraqi security officials said Friday. A spokesman for the Multi-National Forces-Iraq in Baghdad confirmed that Americans had gone missing, and the U.S. embassy in Baghdad said it is investigating | 07/31/09 18:36:00 By - Adam Ashton and Yaseen Taha

Iraqis fear latest bombings signal return of al Qaida in Iraq

Bombings at five Shiite Muslim mosques killed 29 worshippers Friday in a series of attacks that Iraqi army and police officers are interpreting as a sign that insurgents are determined to destabilize the country now that American forces have withdrawn from Iraqi cities and towns. Iraqi officials say the pattern of attacks resembles tactics al Qaida in Iraq used in 2006. | 07/31/09 18:29:00 By - Mohammed al Dulaimy

Iraq raids camp of Iranian opposition group U.S. protected

Iraqi authorities raided the camp of a small Iranian opposition group living in the north of Iraq on Tuesday, killing at least four of the group's members in a spate of clashes that ensued, members of the group said. Since the U.S. handed control of the camp to Iraqi authorities on Jan.1, Iraq has increased efforts to push the group out. | 07/28/09 20:59:00 By - Laith Hammoudi and Leila Fadel

'Change' party scores breakthrough in Kurdish elections

A yearning for change at the ballot box cracked the political lock Kurdish Iraq's two leading parties held on the region's government for the past 17 years, sweeping into parliament a new group that's pledged to expose graft and corruption. | 07/27/09 13:39:25 By - Adam Ashton

Why are U.S.-allied refugees still branded as 'terrorists?'

Almost every day for three years, prison guards at one of Saddam Hussein's most notorious prisons tortured Sami Alkarim. Now, in a cruel twist of fate, the accomplished Iraqi artist is being treated like a terrorist by the U.S., the country where he sought refuge. | 07/26/09 06:00:00 By - Marisa Taylor

Heavy turnout in Iraq's Kurdistan for contest of new vs. old

Kurdish voters on Saturday packed polling places in Iraq's second election this year, weighing the promises of a new party that pledged to shake up the status quo by exposing corruption in the incumbent regional government. The election appeared to take place smoothly without serious complaints from parties or voters, though two opposition parties raised questions late Saturday about whether soldiers tried to cast multiple ballots and whether greeters at polling places showed too much support for incumbents. | 07/25/09 15:27:00 By - Adam Ashton

In Kurdistan, voters are offered Obama-like 'Change'

The two political parties that have dominated political life in Iraq's Kurdish provinces since 1991 face their first serious challenge at the ballot box Saturday with an unexpectedly strong run from a group riding all the buzz it can carry by promising Obama-like "change." | 07/24/09 16:55:00 By - Adam Ashton

Review: The Hurt Locker does for Iraq what Platoon did for Vietnam

Like every war before it, the U.S. invasion of Iraq has generated its share of movies. But The Hurt Locker is the first of them that can properly be called a masterpiece. | 07/24/09 13:08:20 By - Rene Rodriguez

Iraq's Maliki raises possibility of asking U.S. to stay on

A day after President Barack Obama said that the U.S. was on track to pull its troops out of Iraq by 2011, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki said that timeline could change "if the Iraqi forces required further training and support." His comment on whether the new status of forces agreement might need to be renegotiated underscored how tentative the situation in Iraq remains. | 07/23/09 18:41:00 By - Margaret Talev

Report: Big cuts needed at huge Baghdad embassy built by Bush

The Bush administration's Iraq commitment led to the creation of the largest U.S. Embassy in the world, a $700 million complex in Baghdad with more than 1,800 employees. The complex was fully occupied only in January, but it's far more than is needed, given the U.S.'s declining role in the country, a new State Department report finds, and the U.S. needs to cut back dramatically. | 07/22/09 10:28:00 By - Warren P. Strobel

Good news from Iraq: National baseball team getting new gear

Iraqis may still be short of electricity and drinkable water, but Americans are stepping in to fill shortages faced by the national baseball team, whose equipment, documented by McClatchy last week, included a five-year-old bat, nine second-hand gloves and no uniforms. Since then, however, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow has launced a nationwside appeal and the Iraqi baseball team is about to gear up. | 07/20/09 19:39:00 By - Grace Chung

Maliki, boosted by U.S. pullback, to call on Obama

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki will meet President Barack Obama in Washington on Wednesday wearing several robes: the popular leader of an American ally, the prime minister of an increasingly independent-minded country, a follower of the same branch of Islam that's practiced in Iran and a political candidate. | 07/20/09 15:31:00 By - Mike Tharp

2 million pilgrims visit shrine as Iraqi security forces pass test

Iraqi security forces passed their first big test minus American troops with flying colors -- and with veil-to-sandal searches of an estimated 2 million pilgrims at one of Shiite Islam's most sacred shrines. | 07/18/09 14:30:00 By - Mike Tharp

Once world's bread basket, Iraq now a farming basket case

Once the cradle of agriculture for civilization, the Land Between Two Rivers — the Tigris and Euphrates — has become a basket case for its farmers. | 07/17/09 16:06:00 By - Mike Tharp

Shiite pilgrimage poses major challenge for Iraqi military

A human tide of Shiite Muslim pilgrims visiting the Kadhimiyah shrine is expected to fill the streets of Baghdad on Saturday in the first major security challenge for Iraqi military forces since U.S. combat troops withdrew from Iraq's cities June 30. | 07/16/09 16:50:00 By - Mohammed al Dulaimy

Iraqis have told U.S. military no patrols permitted in Baghdad

Two weeks after U.S. combat troops withdrew from Iraq's major cities, amid sporadic outbreaks of violence countrywide, Iraqi authorities apparently haven't asked American forces for help. The Iraqis have gone so far as to refuse Americans permission for any convoys except supply runs inside Baghdad. | 07/14/09 16:41:00 By - Mike Tharp

In Baghdad, the poor have no choice but to beg

Beggars have become as visible as blast walls and checkpoints in Iraqi cities. Government ministries don't have reliable statistics, partly because those who beg fear official crackdowns on their only livelihood. It's a problem the government has yet to tackle. | 07/14/09 14:38:00 By - Jenan Hussein

With one bat and no uniforms, Iraq's baseball team hits field

They've only got a five year-old softball bat, a threadbare cap, three scuffed balls and nine second-hand gloves from a flea market. They train on a college soccer field. And there's not a uniform among them. However, they love America's pastime as much as Crash Davis of "Bull Durham" ever did. | 07/13/09 14:57:00 By - Laith Hammoudi

Did Iraq bomb target U.S. ambassador?

A roadside bomb that exploded near a convoy that was carrying the U.S. ambassador to Iraq was "unusual, definitely," and American officials are investigating whether it was an assassination attempt. The bomb detonated in Dhi Qar province, almost 200 miles southeast of Baghdad. | 07/13/09 09:46:27 By - Mike Tharp and Warren P. Strobel

Iraqi journalist has second thoughts about resettling in U.S.

Hussein Khalifa, 39, left Iraq under a U.S. government program to resettle people whose work for American organizations might have placed their lives in danger as the U.S. presence shrinks in his homeland. But Khalifa wonders if danger really is the worst thing he could face. Loneliness has set in on the man accustomed to working two jobs and spending much time with his 4-year-old nephew. | 07/12/09 14:13:24 By - Anna M. Tinsley

U.S. military didn't want to release Iranians held in Iraq

U.S. spokesmen in Baghdad and Washington said the United States had no choice but to free the five men under the terms of last year's Status of Forces Agreement, which requires the United States eventually to transfer the more than 10,000 Iraqi and third-country detainees it now holds. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said the U.S. military turned the five over to Iraq after Iraq issued arrest warrants for all third-country nationals in U.S. custody. | 07/09/09 18:53:00 By - Warren P. Strobel and Mike Tharp

Mass bombings throughout Iraq leave dozens dead

U.S. military authorities declined to provide details, other than to say that the release was part of a general detainee release program agreed on under a joint security agreement with Iraq. The Iranians immediately met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki upon their release. | 07/09/09 00:22:00 By - Mike Tharp

Iraqis hail a week of fewer U.S. troops as bombs hit Mosul

Just as Americans and Iraqis began to congratulate themselves on a relatively quiet week since U.S. combat troops withdrew from Iraq's major cities, insurgents Wednesday set off six bombs in Mosul, the biggest city in northern Iraq, killing 14 and wounding 44. Still, top U.S. officials said trends were positive, and Iraqi officials sounded almost cocky. | 07/08/09 16:56:00 By - Mike Tharp

Sandstorms plague Iraq and are getting worse

Shamal — Accented on the second syllable, that means the ill wind that blows in summer across Iraq, and other countries in the region, stirring sandstorms in its wake. | 07/05/09 15:38:00 By - Mike Tharp

Biden's visit to Iraq raises questions about Iraq's future

Vice President Joe Biden's surprise two-day visit this weekend to Iraq was meant to "re-establish contact" with leaders here, but some Iraqis bristled at the messenger more than the message. Protestors burned an American flag in Sadr City, a crowded Baghdad slum, and chanted, "No, no for occupation! No, no for America!" | 07/03/09 14:51:00 By - Mike Tharp

4 Americans killed as Iraq takes over its own security

The U.S. military offered no details of how the Americans died on a historic day for Americans and Iraqis alike — a rare if not unprecedented handoff of military sovereignty in an active war zone. Violence also struck Iraqis, with at least 28 killed in a bombing in Kirkuk. | 06/30/09 16:43:00 By - Mike Tharp

Iraqi exercise craze pumps up home fitness business

Khalida Waleed of Baghdad, Iraq, wants to thank Oprah Winfrey for keeping her fit. The 34-year-old office manager at an oil company doggedly does her 30-minute treadmill workout several times a week while watching. | 06/29/09 16:58:00 By - Mike Tharp

As U.S. troops move on, Iraqis fear the coming turmoil

The guys with the guns and bombs and best-laid plans may think the U.S. withdrawal of combat troops from major Iraqi cities will work. But some ordinary Iraqis harbor another idea. | 06/28/09 15:58:00 By - Laith Hammoudi

American troops in Iraq fade from major cities

The last American patrol in Baghdad? The 75-minute hike was walked Saturday night in the northwest sector of the capital. It may well have been the last patrol before the deadline for U.S. combat forces to withdraw from major Iraqi cities. Or maybe not. | 06/28/09 15:34:00 By - Mike Tharp

Motorcycle bomb kills 13, wounds 45 in Baghdad

Thirteen people were killed and 45 were wounded when a small parked motorcycle detonated early Friday in a crowd of young men in the Bab al Sheikh neighborhood in downtown Baghdad, Iraqi police said. | 06/26/09 18:34:00 By - Laith Hammoudi and Sahar Issa

At least 60 dead in Baghdad blast as U.S. withdrawal nears

Six days before U.S. combat forces are due to withdraw from major Iraqi cities, a bomb hidden under vegetables on a three-wheeled motorcycle killed at least 60 people and wounded 135 more in Sadr City, a densely populated Shiite Muslim slum in the Iraqi capital. | 06/24/09 18:25:00 By - Mike Tharp and Sahar Issa

Iraqi's sweet sorrow: Bomb sniffers detect his perfume

It would be futile to try to pinpoint the person in Baghdad who's suffered the most during six years of war and sectarian violence. However, it's safe to say that Malik Farhan, a 33-year old perfume distributor, is a leading candidate for that dubious honor. As he tries to deliver fragrances around the Iraqi capital, he finds himself spending an inordinate proportion of his life behind the bleak gray blast walls of the checkpoints on almost every major street of the city. | 06/24/09 17:14:00 By - Jack Dolan and Sahar Issa

At least 24 Iraqis killed, 78 wounded in countrywide attacks

Five of the explosions were in Baghdad, where at least 11 people were killed and another 65 wounded. U.S. troops have until June 30 to withdraw from Iraq's cities, and the bombings leave many worried Iraqi security forces aren't ready to take control. | 06/22/09 16:57:00 By - Laith Hammoudi

More bombs in Iraq cities as deadline nears for withdrawal

At least 24 Iraqis were killed and more than 80 others wounded Monday in the latest wave of violence sweeping Iraq. The attacks were concentrated in Baghdad, where five explosions killed at least 11 people and wounded another 65. U.S. troops are to have withdrawn from Iraq's cities by June 30. | 06/22/09 13:03:57 By - Laith Hammoudi

Suicide bomb in Kirkuk kills 67 and sows mistrust

A truck bomb killed 67 people Saturday in the northern Kurdish city of Kirkuk and injured more than 200 in a blast near a mosque that also leveled about 30 houses. The attack ended months of relative calm and is almost certain to inflame ethnic tensions in the province, but there was no indication that American forces would change their plans to withdraw combat forces from the city by June 30. | 06/20/09 18:47:05 By - Yaseen Taha and Mike Tharp

Senate approves spending for Iraq and Afghan wars

The Senate approved a $105.9 billion emergency war-spending bill Thursday after the White House assured lawmakers that it would bar the release of photos of detained terrorism suspects by an executive order if necessary. The vote was 91-5. | 06/18/09 17:14:00 By - David Lightman

Congress will pass war spending, but not without fight over photos

Congress is expected to approve later this week spending $106 billion to help pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and control the spread of flu — but not before debating a ban on releasing of terrorism detainee abuse photos, aiding the International Monetary Fund and plotting an exit from Afghanistan. | 06/14/09 15:45:00 By - David Lightman

In Mosul, Iraqi army not ready to take over from U.S. forces

The Iraqi Army colonel glowered at his newest captain. Looking small and lost in his oversized new uniform, the captain conceded that he was an untrained civilian who'd been sent to Iraq's most violent city by one of the political parties in Baghdad that's vying for control of the country's security forces. | 06/12/09 16:51:00 By - Jack Dolan

Leading Iraqi lawmaker killed, officials fear spread of violence

Harith al Obaidi was Iraq's leading Sunni lawmaker. He had just finished delivering prayers at a mosque in western Baghdad when a teenaged gunman shot him several times. The assassination came just days after a car bomb killed 35 in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood just outside the city of Nasariya. | 06/12/09 00:32:00 By - Sahar Issa and Laith Hammoudi

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