Car bomb kills 25 in southern Iraqi town

At least 25 civilians were killed and more than 75 were wounded when a bomb in a parked car detonated early Wednesday inside a marketplace in a small southern Iraqi town, medical officials said. | 06/10/09 11:03:00 By - Laith Hammoudi

Political fights delay passage of war-funding bill

Paying for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars should be one of the easiest tasks facing the White House and Congress this spring, but partisan politics has stalled the effort, a signal that getting anything done this year won't be easy. | 06/08/09 16:47:00 By - David Lightman

Iraq halts clearing landmines even as huge toll keeps rising

To the dismay of international relief organizations, the Ministry of Defense halted all mine-clearing operations last December, fearing that villagers were selling harvested explosives to Iraq's many insurgents. Now one Iraqi a day is thought to be killed or maimed by a mine, though most casualties go unreported and untreated by the failing national health system. | 06/02/09 16:56:00 By - Jack Dolan and Jenan Hussein

Iraq would need 'an army' to remove all land mines

Homemade bombs go off almost every day in Iraq, usually targeting military and police convoys in cities such as Baghdad and Mosul. It's been suspected for years that insurgents harvest at least some of their explosives from the contaminated soil in places such as Said Jabar. | 06/02/09 16:49:00 By - Jack Dolan and Jenan Hussein

Why'd Obama switch on detainee photos? Maliki went ballistic

President Barack Obama reversed his decision to release detainee abuse photos from Iraq and Afghanistan after Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki warned that Iraq would erupt into violence and Iraqis would demand that U.S. troops withdraw from Iraq a year earlier than planned, two U.S. military officers, a senior defense official and a State Department official told McClatchy. | 06/01/09 16:17:00 By - Nancy A. Youssef

Iraqi trade minister resigns in corruption scandal

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki accepted his embattled trade minister's resignation on Monday, the day before a scheduled no confidence vote in parliament. Falah al Sudany could still face corruption charges. | 05/25/09 13:12:04 By - Jack Dolan and Laith Hammoudi

Prospects are dismal for returning Iraqi refugees

An estimated 4 million Iraqis have fled their homes, half of them abroad. Several months ago, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki began telling them to return, assuring them that Iraq is safe. Not everyone agrees, however, and some families who've come back said they regretted it. | 05/25/09 00:45:00 By - Corinne Reilly

Former Iraqi insurgent contemplates returning to war

Abu Fatma agreed to put his guns aside as part of a deal with the U.S. military last year but the former Sunni Muslim insurgent, once known as a killer with no mercy, is still a fighter. If the Americans don't start keeping the promises they made to his group and him he'll fight again, he said. | 05/24/09 06:00:00 By - Leila Fadel

Iraq's disgraced trade minister expected to step down

Iraq's trade director, who made history last week as the first government minister ever forced to answer corruption charges before a nationwide TV audience, is expected to resign. | 05/23/09 13:08:00 By - Jack Dolan and Laith Hammoudi

Iraqi immigrant helps refugees learn hairstyling trade

Sam Rasho, the owner of a Modesto, Calif. cosmetology school, is lending a hand to a group of Iraq refugees, who are now his students. Rasho, who left Iraq in 1974, is waiving $12,000 in tuition for the 15 students, who hope to make a new life in America. | 05/22/09 09:28:40 By - Adam Ashton

Wave of bombings in Iraq kills at least 63

Lying in a Baghdad hospital bed with shrapnel wounds across his face, Kadoon Quddori said he was sipping juice at an outdoor cafe Wednesday night when he saw a police officer wave a car away from an illegal parking space. Minutes later he glanced back and saw the car again. It's the last thing he remembers from the night, he said. | 05/21/09 09:07:11 By - Jack Dolan and Laith Hammoudi

Iraqi militiamen frustrated that promised jobs haven't materialized

Al Qaida in Iraq fighters are returning to this dusty desert town and attacking the Sunni Muslim militias that once subdued them, and they may have infiltrated the makeshift police force. | 05/20/09 15:56:00 By - Jack Dolan and Sahar Issa

Car bomb in Baghdad kills at least 34 people

A parked car exploded Wednesday night in the Shula neighborhood of northern Baghdad, killing at least 34 people and wounding at least 72, police said. | 05/20/09 15:33:00 By - Sahar Issa and Jack Dolan

Senate Democrats postpone funds to shut Guantanamo

Senate Democrats, under pressure from Republicans eager to brand them as ready to release terrorists into America's backyards, prepared Tuesday to strip $80 million for closing the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, out of a war-spending bill. | 05/19/09 18:47:00 By - William Douglas and David Lightman

Corruption probe appalls — and encourages — Iraqis

For the first time since modern Iraq was founded in the 1920s, a sitting government minister has been questioned publicly about corruption allegations, in this case about skimming millions of dollars from a national food-distribution program while ordinary Iraqis went hungry. | 05/19/09 17:15:00 By - Jack Dolan

Iraq's once-envied health care system lost to war, corruption

Dr. Zinah Jawad leaned over her patient and peered into his glazed eyes. It doesn't look good, she said, shaking her head. | 05/17/09 06:00:00 By - Corinne Reilly

Iraqis shrug off concerns over photos of U.S. abuse

While President Barack Obama argues that releasing photos of U.S. soldiers abusing detainees could incite violence against American troops abroad, a prominent Iraqi leader called for their publication and others cast doubt on the U.S. administration's warnings. | 05/15/09 16:37:00 By - Jack Dolan and Sahar Issa

Congress battles over paying for wars, Guantanamo

The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Thursday to spend $96.7 billion largely for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars after lawmakers sparred sharply over how to fight terrorists most effectively. | 05/14/09 18:45:00 By - David Lightman and William Douglas

Obama reverses decision to release prisoner abuse photos

President Barack Obama is seeking to withhold photos of past abuse of prisoners in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan. The request for what's effectively a legal do-over is an unlikely step for a president who is trained as a constitutional lawyer, advocated greater government transparency and ran for election as a critic of his predecessors secretive approach toward the handling of terrorism detainees. | 05/13/09 13:29:27 By - Margaret Talev and Jonathan S. Landay

Iraq shootings suspect, on 3rd tour, had had rifle taken away

The U.S. military said Tuesday that the Army sergeant charged with fatally shooting five American comrades at a U.S. base was on his third deployment to Iraq. Sgt. John M. Russell, of the 54th Engineer Battalion, had been ordered to counseling and had had his rifle taken away before the shootings. | 05/12/09 10:57:00 By - Corinne Reilly

U.S. soldier blamed in Iraq shooting that killed 5 Americans

Five American soldiers were killed when the soldier opened fire at a U.S. base in the Iraqi capital, the military said in a statement. The statement said the shooting occurred at about 2 p.m. Monday at Camp Liberty, near Baghdad International Airport. | 05/11/09 10:04:34 By - Corinne Reilly

Pelosi makes surprise visit to Iraq to talk intelligence

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a surprise visit to Iraq on Sunday, meeting with the prime minister and the speaker of the iraqi parliament. Based on comments from all three politicians, intelligence gathering was the main topic of conversation, with Pelosi saying the U.S. could need to increase its intelligence gathering in Iraq as its troop prsence declined. | 05/10/09 18:38:09 By - Jack Dolan

Will Congress keep paying for these two wars?

The debate over how — and how long — the United States should fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan returns to Washington's political stage this week as a wary Congress begins considering new funding for the conflicts. The House of Representatives is scheduled to spar over a $96.7 billion plan to pay this year's costs for the wars and flu prevention strategies, with final passage likely by the end of the week. The Senate Appropriations Committee plans to write its version on Thursday. | 05/10/09 15:11:00 By - David Lightman and William Douglas

Some fear 'perfect storm' for VA with 2 wars, economy

From the economic crisis at home to a troop increase in Afghanistan, veterans' advocates are warning of a "perfect storm" that could flood an already beleaguered health care network for former service members. | 05/10/09 06:00:00 By - David Goldstein

U.S. soldiers, attacked, kill a 12-year-old Iraqi boy

American soldiers opened fire and killed a 12-year old boy after a grenade hit their convoy in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Thursday. The boy was found with ten thousand Iraqi dinars in his hand - worth less than $9. U.S. officials said the money is evidence of a disturbing new trend. | 05/09/09 14:55:00 By - Ali Abass and Jack Dolan

Truck bomb loaded with vegetables kills 11 in Baghdad

The latest in a string of deadly bombings that have many Iraqis worried about a return of widespread violence happened at a popular produce market in southern Baghdad. Witnesses said the attacker drove up to the market in a truck packed with cauliflower, asked nearby workers to unload it and then walked away. | 05/06/09 15:26:00 By - Sahar Issa

U.S. fears violence ahead of Kurdistan regional elections

Iraq's semi-autonomous northern region of Kurdistan will hold parliamentary elections on July 25, officials said Tuesday. | 05/05/09 14:55:00 By - Corinne Reilly and Laith Hammoudi

In Baghdad, Iraqis fear return of sectarian bloodshed

Restaurants, cafes and parks are still busy in Baghdad, despite a rise in violence over the last two months. But even as they crowd Baghdad's public spaces, Iraqis acknowledge that they are worried about what the upswing in violence may mean. Most say they don't expect a return of widespread sectarian killing, but many also said they believe things could quickly change. | 05/03/09 00:01:00 By - Corinne Reilly

Wounded Iraq veteran adjusts to life with one arm

Norberto Lara showed off his new arm, a terrible beauty. The wounded Iraq veteran can do wonders with his latest prosthetic. His nerves fire, the elbow rotates and pincers open and close. He demonstrated his golf swing and mimicked pedaling a recumbent bike. | 05/01/09 17:08:00 By - Michael Doyle

Surge in violence won't delay U.S. withdrawal from Iraq

The Obama administration is determined to continue withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq on schedule, despite a surge of violence in two Iraqi cities that shows no signs of abating and could increase in the weeks ahead, administration and military officials said this week. | 04/30/09 18:38:00 By - Nancy A. Youssef

Is Obama wrong on Iraq? Baghdad violence worst in year

Obama said Wednesday night that violence was still lower that last year's levels, despite a series of explosions in recent weeks. But more than 200 people have been killed this month in Baghdad, the most recorded in the Iraqi capital since March 2008. Iraqis fear the toll will continue to rise as American troops draw down. On Wednesday, explosions in the capital killed at least 43. | 04/29/09 16:58:00 By - Corinne Reilly and Hussein Kadhim

April deadliest month in a year as security in Iraq plummets

A series of bombings in Baghdad on Wednesday was the latest sign that Iraq's security gains are beginning to reverse. Large-scale bombings targeting civilians have been on the rise since March and there's widespread concern among Iraqis that the violence may quickly spread as the U.S. begins to draw down. | 04/29/09 12:12:08 By - Corinne Reilly and Hussein Kadhim

Fallujah: Video game based on battle for Iraqi city canceled

Atomic Games' "Six Days in Fallujah," which was scheduled for release next year, has been canceled by its distributor, Japanese video-game publisher Konami. "Six Days" caused an uproar earlier this month after Atomic and Konami announced that the game was in development. | 04/29/09 07:18:28 By -

Iraqi government says it captured al Qaida leader

The Iraqi government said Tuesday that it's certain that its forces captured Abu Omar al Baghdadi, the head of al Qaida in Iraq and one of the highest profile terror suspects in the country. | 04/28/09 14:54:00 By - Corinne Reilly

Iraqi government claims U.S. raid violated agreement

An early morning U.S. raid that left two Iraqis dead was launched without Iraq's permission, a serious violation of the rules that are supposed to govern American military conduct here, the Iraqi government said Sunday. Under an agreement signed last year between Washington and Baghdad, U.S. forces aren't permitted to conduct combat operations without first coordinating with Iraqi security forces. | 04/27/09 06:25:51 By - Corinne Reilly and Hussein Kadhim

Hillary Clinton pays surprise visit to Baghdad

In an unannounced visit to Iraq Saturday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton downplayed concerns that the country's hard-won security gains may be deteriorating and said a recent spike in deadly attacks here won't derail plans to withdraw U.S. troops. | 04/25/09 13:10:00 By - Corinne Reilly

Wounded Modesto native adapts to life at Walter Reed

Abraham Odisho taps the remains of his left leg, distracting the phantoms. They keep shrieking anyway. | 04/24/09 00:39:00 By - Michael Doyle

Suicide bombers kill at least 60 Iraqis at Shiite shrine

In another day of heavy violence in Iraq, at least 60 people died Friday when two suicide bombers detonated within seconds of each other outside a revered Shiite Muslim shrine in Baghdad. | 04/24/09 09:31:00 By - Laith Hammoudi and Corinne Reilly

Attacks in Iraq kill dozens; fears mount of wider violence

Two massive suicide attacks killed at least 76 people and possibly dozens more Thursday in Iraq, the latest signs that the country's hard-won security gains are beginning to reverse. | 04/23/09 09:57:00 By - Corinne Reilly and Laith Hammoudi

Attacks in Iraq kill dozens; fears mount of wider violence

Two suicide attacks Thursday killed at least 76 people in Iraq and raised more questions about whether the countrys security gains are unravelling and if U.S. troops will be able to withdraw as scheduled. | 04/23/09 09:16:42 By - Corinne Reilly and Laith Hammoudi

U.N. experts urge power sharing in Kirkuk

The United Nations said Wednesday that it had given Iraq four options for resolving the Kurdish-Arab dispute over the oil-rich city of Kirkuk as well as recommendations for ending disagreements over 14 other contested areas in northern Iraq. | 04/22/09 00:46:00 By - Corinne Reilly

Report: Abusive tactics used to seek Iraq-al Qaida link

The use of abusive interrogation — widely considered torture — as part of the Bush administration's quest for a rationale to invade Iraq came to light as the Senate issued a major report tracing the origin of the abuses and President Barack Obama opened the door to prosecuting former U.S. officials for approving them. | 04/21/09 22:00:00 By - Jonathan S. Landay

In Iraq, 'Everybody knows somebody killed by the war'

Amir Jabbar doesn't know how many of his friends have been murdered since the Iraq war started six years ago. He stopped counting sometime back in 2007. The numbers just got too high, he said. | 04/20/09 13:17:00 By - Corinne Reilly

With Mom in Iraq, grandparents win their own badge of courage

When she talks to her mother, who's Iraq with the Washington state National Guard, 6-year-old Emma Tackett has one message that's loud and clear. When are you coming back? she asks her mom. Its a question that grandparents, too, must grapple with as they bear a double burden in a time of war. | 04/19/09 16:17:07 By - Debbie Cafazzo

Iraqi parliament elects new speaker, raising hope for unity

The election Sunday of a new leader of Iraq's parliament could aggravate the country's ethnic and sectarian tensions, or it could prove to be a major step toward easing the longstanding friction between Sunni and Shiite Arabs. | 04/19/09 15:12:00 By - Corinne Reilly and Sahar Issa

For Iraqis in America, terror is replaced by financial woe

Faced with ongoing war and death threats, millions of Iraqis have fled their homeland in recent years. During the past 18 months, some Iraqi families have settled in Kentucky, They come not only seeking refuge, but also with the expectation of an America full of jobs and promise. | 04/19/09 09:01:53 By - Steve Lannen

Suicide bomber kills at least 16 Iraqi soldiers

In what is turning out to be a very bloody month at least 16 Iraqi soldiers were killed and some 50 were wounded when a suicide bomber detonated inside an Iraqi military base in western Iraq on Thursday. | 04/16/09 11:08:05 By - Leila Fadel and Jamal Naji

Security agencies dispute death toll in Iraq bombing

A suicide bomber attacked troops at an Iraqi Army training camp in western Iraq Thursday, but Iraqi authorities were in disagreement about the casualty count. | 04/16/09 00:44:00 By - Leila Fadel and Jamal Naji

Gates says 'last gasp' remark on al Qaida in Iraq was mistake

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday that he'd made a mistake when he said that the rising tide of violence in Iraq is the "last gasp" of al Qaida there. Gates made the comment last Tuesday on PBS. In the days that followed, Iraq saw some of the worst violence of the year. | 04/14/09 20:43:00 By - Nancy A. Youssef

Kurdish-Arab tensions continue to grow in northern Iraq

In another sign of the growing tension between Iraqi Kurds and Arabs, a Kurdish political coalition in one northern province is boycotting provincial council meetings until the main Arab party there cedes council leadership positions. | 04/14/09 17:07:00 By - Corinne Reilly and Ali Abbas

Iraqi Islamists claim credit for deadly attack on U.S. soldiers

The Islamic State of Iraq said it planned and carried out a Friday suicide bombing that killed five U.S. soldiers and two Iraqi national police officers. The group also claimed responsibility for a suicide attack that killed at least nine U.S.-allied Sunni Muslim militiamen in southern Iraq Saturday. | 04/13/09 17:26:00 By - Corinne Reilly

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Soldier's PTSD diagnosis gets him bumped from Iraq tour

As 4,000 North Carolina National Guard soldiers bid farewell Tuesday for their second tour in Iraq, they head out without one of the brigades most honored platoon sergeants. Army Sgt. 1st Class Chad Stephens, who earned a Silver Star for valor during a Baqubah firefight in 2004, isnt going back this time. | 04/13/09 17:27:49 By - Barbara Barrett

Iraq, once a country of fervent readers, now starves for books

When Maysoon Kadhim began working on her master's thesis at Baghdad University two years ago, she braced for the challenge. After all, her paper's subject is Shakespeare, whose prose can perplex even native English speakers. Kadhim, of course, grew up with Arabic. But that wasn't the source of her biggest frustrations. Instead, they've come from trying to get her hands on the right books. | 04/13/09 14:43:00 By - Corinne Reilly

For Christians in Iraq, a calmer Easter, but worries still

Faiza Bunni, a Baghdad Christian, admits this Easter is safer than last, and she hopes it will stay that way. But it's still not the way it was in the old days, before the U.S. invaded in 2003, when she would have left her house for Easter church services without covering her hair. | 04/12/09 18:13:00 By - Laith Hammoudi

Another suicide blast in Iraq; this one claims 9 lives

A suicide bomber detonated his explosives vest in a crowd of Sons of Iraq militiamen waiting to collect their paychecks Saturday, killing at least nine and wounding dozens more near the Southern Iraqi town of Iskandariyah. The Sons of Iraq program is credited with playing a major role in the steep reduction in violence across Iraq over the past year. | 04/11/09 09:50:27 By - Corinne Reilly and Laith Hammoudi

Is Gates channeling Cheney on Iraq with 'last gasp' remark?

Midway through a week of mayhem in Iraq, Defense Secretary Robert Gates raised eyebrows when he said the recent resurgence of violence in Baghdad was "a last gasp" of Islamic extremists. It was an echo of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who in 2005 said the insurgency was "in the last throes." The following two years were the deadliest period of the war. | 04/10/09 19:44:00 By - Nancy A. Youssef

5 deaths in Iraq truck bombing are worst U.S. toll in a year

Five U.S. soldiers who were killed in Iraq Friday in the single deadliest assault on American troops in more than a year were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, a U.S. military spokesman said. The five were killed when a suicide attacker detonated a truck packed with explosives near a national police station in the northern city of Mosul as an American convoy was passing. | 04/10/09 17:06:00 By - Corinne Reilly and Ali Abbas

California soldier loses his leg, but not his fighting spirit

Abraham Odisho lost part of his left leg in Iraq, but he considers himself lucky, in every way. Now bedding down on Ward 57 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center following his eighth surgery since the March 27 attack, the Army private has a long march ahead of him. | 04/10/09 16:20:00 By - Michael Doyle

5 U.S. deaths in Iraq truck bombing are worst toll in a year

A truck bomb killed five American soldiers in Iraq's Nineveh province on Friday, the worst American death toll from a single incident in the past year. At least two Iraqi National Police officers also died when the truck exploded. | 04/10/09 08:46:12 By - Leila Fadel, Corinne Reilly and Ali Abbas

Celebrating freedom: Thousands of Iraqis rally against U.S.

Six years after the U.S. overthrow of Saddam Hussein's government, tens of thousands of Iraqis gathered in the rain in Iraq's capital Thursday to mark the anniversary and renew calls for an American withdrawal. | 04/09/09 00:34:00 By - Corinne Reilly and Sahar Issa

Second bombing in 2 days in Baghdad district kills 7

For the second day in a row a deadly explosion rocked Baghdad's Shiite district of Kadhemiyah on Wednesday, killing seven people. The blast occurred on the eve of the sixth anniversary of the U.S. overthrow of Saddam Hussein's government. The bomb went off under a vedor's stand at about 11 in the morning. | 04/08/09 15:49:00 By - Laith Hammoudi and Corinne Reilly

Infant survives Baghdad car bombing that killed 8

A car bomb ripped through the Shiite district of Kadhemiyah Tuesday, killing eight people and wounding 20 just a day after string of bombings left 32 dead and more than 130 wounded in the Iraqi capital. | 04/07/09 16:53:00 By - Laith Hammoudi

In Baghdad, Obama tells U.S. troops that Iraqis must take over

President Barack Obama made an unscheduled visit to Iraq Tuesday, meeting commanders, troops and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki and restated his commitment to remove U.S. troops by the end of 2011. . He landed in Baghdad after flying in secret from Istanbul, Turkey, on his way home to Washington after a five-country, eight-day trip. | 04/07/09 09:43:00 By - Leila Fadel and Steven Thomma

7 blasts in Baghdad add to Iraq's worries of renewed war

At least seven explosions ripped through the capital of Iraq on Monday, killing at least 32 people and wounding more than 131. All but one explosion had detonated by 9 a.m. in markets and other gathering places in Baghdad. | 04/06/09 10:29:00 By - Laith Hammoudi and Corinne Reilly

U.S. soldier charged with killing worker on U.S. base in Iraq

A U.S. soldier has been charged with murdering a foreign contractor at an American base in Taji, Iraq, the military said Sunday. Pfc. Carl T. Stovall III, a 25-year-old soldier from Kennesaw, Ga., is accused of shooting the foreign laborer on March 26, the military said in a written statement. Military prosecutors handed down the murder charge Saturday. | 04/05/09 14:38:00 By - Corinne Reilly

Iraqi government releases Sunni paramilitary leader

Ten days after arresting him in the middle of the night, the Iraqi government Thursday freed a prominent Sunni Muslim paramilitary leader and dropped all charges against him. | 04/02/09 20:33:00 By - Leila Fadel

Iraqi ex-detainee's poem: 'When I see you I see Paradise'

Poem written June 7, 2007, in Bucca detention center | 03/30/09 16:49:00 By - Abu Izzuddin

Vow to fight raises question: How long will Iraq's calm last?

Thousands of detainees once held at U.S.-controlled prisons in Iraq are being released as the violence there dies down. But many Iraqis believe the relative calm is the eye of the storm, not its end, and many of those being released now say they haven't given up armed struggle against the U.S. presence. | 03/30/09 15:32:00 By - Leila Fadel

Arrest of Sunni leaders raises fears of broader clashes

Tensions were high in Baghdad's Fadhil neighborhood Sunday after hours-long clashes on Saturday and Sunday over the arrest of the leaders of the Sons of Iraq militia movement. The Sons of Iraq members turned over their weapons, but the clashes have cast a harsh light on a U.S. program on which Iraq's stability may depend. | 03/29/09 19:21:00 By - Leila Fadel

Sunnis U.S. called allies in Iraq rebel after their leader's arrest

Sunni Muslim militants staged a violent uprising in central Baghdad Saturday after Iraqi forces detained a leader of the Sons of Iraq, the mostly Sunni paramilitary force that U.S. officials credit with helping to quell Iraq's violence. Sixteen people were injured in the ensuing battle, and five Iraqi soldiers were missing — snatched Saturday night by members of the Sons of Iraq. | 03/28/09 17:44:00 By - Leila Fadel

Fifth big bombing this month in Baghdad claims 16 lives

Sixteen people died Thursday when a bomb in a parked car detonated at a market in northeast Baghdad, the fifth big explosion this month in Iraq, Iraqi police said. | 03/26/09 18:35:00 By - Laith Hammoudi

String of deadly Iraq bombings reflects Kurdish-Arab tensions

A suicide bomber attacked mourners at a Kurdish funeral in a town north of Baghdad, killing at least 25 and injuring at least 45 in the worst of a series of four bombings around Iraq Monday. Altogether, 37 people were killed and 60 were wounded in the attacks. The violence reflects rising tensions between Iraq's Kurds and Sunni Muslim Arabs. | 03/23/09 14:14:00 By - Laith Hammoudi and Leila Fadel

VIDEO REPORT: Baghdad marks the anniversary of the war

Laith Hammoudi, an Iraqi journalist in McClatchy's Baghdad Bureau, narrates a tour of photographs of the Iraqi capital on the sxith anniversary of the U.S. invasion. | 03/20/09 17:20:03 By -

In Iraq, a boy named 'War' turns 6

Iman Kadhim felt the contractions at 2 a.m. on March 20, 2003. The streets of Baghdad were deserted; people cowered in their homes awaiting the U.S. invasion. But the baby wasn't going to wait. A neighbor with a car gave Iman and her husband a ride to the hospital. They heard the baby's first cry before dawn. Then they heard the first explosions. They named their new son Harb — Arabic for war. | 03/19/09 06:00:00 By - Leila Fadel

U.S. military to halt 'stop loss' service extensions for troops

Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced on Wednesday that the Army is effectively halting "stop loss," the practice of ordering soldiers to stay in the military service beyond their obligation, saying the practice was "breaking faith" with the troops. | 03/18/09 19:24:00 By - Nancy A. Youssef

Is the Iraq war over? Iraqis, Americans see it differently

Six years after the U.S. invaded Iraq, Americans and Iraqis for the first time have starkly different views about the country's future. Americans are ready to close the book on the war, but Iraqis say the story is far from over. | 03/18/09 18:03:00 By - Nancy A. Youssef and Laith Hammoudi

Baghdad's water still undrinkable 6 years after invasion

The stench of human waste is enough to tell Falah abu Hasan that his drinking water is bad. His infant daughter Fatma's continuous illnesses and his own constant nausea confirm it. | 03/18/09 16:55:51 By - Matthew Schofield

California's Shriners hospital gives medical help to 6 Iraqi girls

Six girls, all from Iraq, are in Sacramento for treatment of burns and orthopedic problems that cannot be treated in their homeland, where the medical system has been ravaged. Thanks to Shriners and a nonprofit group called Children in Need International, the girls are getting some of the best care that America has to offer, for free. | 03/17/09 06:59:58 By - Cynthia Hubert

Iraqi who threw shoes at Bush sentenced to 3 years

An Iraqi court Thursday sentenced television journalist Muntathar al Zaidi to three years in prison for throwing his shoes at former U.S. President George W. Bush. | 03/12/09 00:05:00 By - Laith Hammoudi

Joy in Baghdad: Its soccer teams are playing again

A series of quick, short passes suddenly left Haitham Kadhim with an opening about 25 yards from the goal. His left foot lashed the ball into the far corner of the net. The thousands of Jawiya supporters packed into Shaab Stadium erupted. | 03/11/09 16:49:00 By - Matthew Schofield

Fears grow Iraq violence will doom Obama's Afghan plan

As the U.S. military begins to shift its focus to a new battle against extremists in Afghanistan, a recent spike in violence in Iraq has some military commanders worried that their Afghan strategy could falter with the need to keep a large force in Iraq to quell the mayhem there. | 03/10/09 19:26:00 By - Nancy A. Youssef and Sahar Issa

Second big blast in three days kills at least 33 in Iraq

A suicide car-bomber killed at least 33 early afternoon Tuesday in Abu Ghraib, the infamous prison community just west of Baghdad. The bomber struck near a crowded marketplace, targeting a reconciliation conference of tribal sheiks. It was the second major blast in three days. | 03/10/09 11:12:48 By - Matthew Schofield

Ethnic tensions in Kirkuk turn U.S. military into mediator

When U.S. Col. Ryan Gonsalves strapped on his helmet and body armor and climbed into his mine-resistant vehicle on a recent Saturday afternoon, he wasn't heading to battle. | 03/09/09 16:22:00 By - Trenton Daniel

Baghdad bombing kills 28; one of nine in Iraq this weekend

On Saturday, there were two double explosions, which left three people dead and 20 injured, and on Sunday, there were five attacks. The worst targeted police recruits, killing at least 28. It was the worst bombing in Iraq since Feb. 13. Iraqi police offered no official comment, but an official said the attacks were not a trend. | 03/08/09 16:04:00 By - Sahar Issa

Iraqi pilgrims visit Samarra's bombed mosque once again

For the first time since bombs ripped apart the sacred golden dome of the ancient mosque in Samarra in 2006, millions of Shiite Muslim pilgrims returned to worship Friday. | 03/06/09 15:06:15 By - Matthew Schofield

In twist, GOP likes Obama's Iraq plan, Democrats don't

President Barack Obama announced here Friday that he'll withdraw U.S. combat troops from Iraq by Aug. 31, 2010, but his plans to leave as many as 50,000 U.S. troops there through 2011 made many Democrats in Congress angry, while Republicans cheered. | 02/27/09 17:15:00 By - Mark Johnson, Ryan Beckwith and Steven Thomma

Commentary: Baghdad is better, but for how long?

The blast woke me. The gunfire kept me company as I got dressed. Just another morning in Baghdad. Though, these days, it's not, really. But it gets at the question that everyone keeps asking — my friends, my wife, my editors, even the Iraqis I work with here. How is Baghdad these days? | 02/27/09 11:30:00 By - Matthew Schofield

Obama to extend Iraq withdrawal timetable; 50,000 troops to stay

Amid complaints from his own party that he's moving too slowly to end the war in Iraq, President Barack Obama announced Friday that U.S. combat troops will be withdrawn in 18 months, by Aug. 31, 2010. However, as many as 50,000 Marines and soldiers would remain through the end of 2011. | 02/27/09 06:00:00 By - Steven Thomma

Iraqis find hope in their history — 5,000 years of it

Luma Yass led a visitor into the Assyrian Hall of the infamously looted museum of antiquities in Iraq's capital city. | 02/27/09 15:32:00 By - Matthew Schofield

Iraqi lawmaker disputes claims that he ordered attacks

An Iraqi lawmaker on Monday blasted accusations that he'd ordered mafia-like murders, charging that the case was politically motivated because of his hard-line stance on human rights issues. | 02/23/09 15:55:00 By - Trenton Daniel

Sunni lawmaker wanted in Green Zone attacks

A Sunni Arab lawmaker is wanted in connection for a string of retaliation attacks and mortar strikes on the fortress-like Green Zone compound after a pair of his senior bodyguards stepped forward with incriminating confessions, a military official said Sunday. | 02/22/09 15:26:00 By - Trenton Daniel

Iraq's final election results secure victory for Maliki

Final election results released Thursday echoed what already was known: The political party of Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki won big in provincial polls Jan. 31, a victory stemming from his crackdown on sectarian violence in the war-torn nation. | 02/19/09 17:58:00 By - Trenton Daniel

Iraqi shoe thrower angered by Bush's 'icy smile'

When Iraqi journalist Muntathar al Zaidi took the stand Thursday, he said that he hadn't planned to hurl his shoes at President George W. Bush, but the sight of the smirking leader at a Baghdad news conference got the best of him. | 02/19/09 11:31:00 By - Trenton Daniel

Iraqi who threw shoes at Bush could get book thrown at him

Muntathar al Zaidi has emerged as a folk hero, poetry muse and minor irritant. On Thursday the 30-year-old is scheduled to go to trial in the Central Criminal Court on charges of assaulting a foreign head of state. Conviction could lead to as many as 15 years in prison. | 02/18/09 16:21:00 By - Trenton Daniel

Iraq's Kurdish-Arab tensions threaten to escalate into war

At the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Mosul, Khasro Goran, the deputy governor of Iraq's Nineveh province, is worried about the future. | 02/18/09 15:43:00 By - Leila Fadel

Volatile Anbar province a test of Iraq's future

After the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, the predominantly Sunni Muslim province west of Baghdad was the breeding ground of the Sunni insurgency and al Qaida in Iraq. Many Sunnis in Anbar, however, rebelled against the militants when they grew too harsh, joined the Awakening movement and allied with their former enemy, the U.S. Now, after the provincial elections, Anbar is at the center of hopes that a unified, democratic Iraq can emerge from six years of sectarian strife. | 02/17/09 17:07:00 By - Leila Fadel

German official's visit highlights Iraq's interest in reaching abroad

On the heels of a strong showing for his political party in recent provincial elections, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki is reaching out to industrialized nations in an effort to help turn around his war-torn nation. | 02/17/09 15:05:00 By - Trenton Daniel

U.S. soldiers still under fire in Iraq

"That was a bomb, wasn't it?" asked one soldier riding in the lead of a six-vehicle convoy. "Roger, that was a bomb," another replied. Seconds later, the radio call verified it: A roadside explosive had detonated under the convoy's rear vehicle. | 02/14/09 14:28:36 By - Scott Fontaine

Dozens of Shiite pilgrims die in resurgent violence in Iraq

More than three dozen Shiite Muslim pilgrims were killed Friday when a suicide bomber blew herself up at a crowded roadside tent in central Iraq, marking the first time in more than a month that a suicide bomber carried out such a deadly attack. | 02/13/09 18:56:00 By - Trenton Daniel and Leith Hammoudi

32 Shiite pilgrims killed in Iraq as violence once again mounts

A suicide bomber killed almost three dozen Shiite Muslim pilgrims Friday while they were en route to a holy site in central Iraq, marking the third straight day of intense violence as officials plan to release final election results next week. | 02/13/09 09:36:28 By - Trenton Daniel

Baath party makes comeback, but it isn't Saddam's anymore

The Baath Party that ruled Iraq under Saddam Hussein is re-emerging, but it's no longer the totalitarian machine that the former dictator used to reward sycophants and remove rivals. | 02/12/09 18:19:00 By - Trenton Daniel

Spike of violence in Iraq leaves at least another 12 dead

Car bombings and fatal shootings claimed the lives of at least 12 people in Iraq Thursday, marking the second consecutive day of deadly violence after the war-torn country enjoyed a month-long stretch free from it. | 02/12/09 16:40:00 By - Trenton Daniel

String of bombings threatens relative calm in Iraq

More than a dozen Iraqis were killed and 43 were wounded Wednesday in back-to-back car bombings at a bus station in a Shiite Muslim neighborhood in south Baghdad, police said. | 02/11/09 17:23:00 By - Trenton Daniel and Leith Hammoudi

Dad re-enlisted, served in Iraq to honor son's memory

Paco Martinez, 44, who served during the first Gulf War, made an unusual decision after his only son was gunned down by a sniper on a street in Ramadi in 2005: He re-enlisted in the Air Force, as a way of honoring his son's decision and coping with his death. He deployed voluntarily to Iraq last summer with the 610th Security Forces Squadron, a reserve outfit based at Naval Air Station Fort Worth. | 02/10/09 10:41:47 By - Chris Vaughn

France's Sarkozy visits Iraq, promising to strengthen ties

In a historic visit to Iraq, French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in Baghdad Tuesday to bolster relations and build economic opportunities in the country, which is struggling to recover from almost six years of conflict. | 02/10/09 14:33:00 By - Trenton Daniel

Worst attack in 9 months: bomber kills 4 U.S. troops in Iraq

Four American soldiers were killed at a checkpoint in northern Iraq on Monday when a suicide car bomber attacked their vehicle, authorities said. It was the highest American toll in a bombing in nine months, the Pentagon said. | 02/09/09 19:29:00 By - Trenton Daniel

Doctor escapes Iraq only to face economic war in U.S.

Emil Adam knew he'd have eight months in the United States to find work before he'd lose the benefits he's entitled to as an Iraqi war refugee. His deadline is just four weeks away, and Adam still can't find steady work. His dreams for a stable life in America are colliding with the country's worst economic recession since World War II. | 02/09/09 13:49:01 By - Adam Ashton

Shoe-throwing Iraqi journalist faces Feb. 19 trial

Iraqi authorities on Sunday set a Feb. 19 trial date for the Iraqi journalist who hurled his loafers at President George W. Bush and narrowly missed him. He remains charged with assaulting a foreign head-of-state, and conviction could lead to a 15-year prison sentence. The trial will be open to the public. | 02/08/09 16:34:00 By - Trenton Daniel and Hussein Kadhim

U.N. head visits Iraq, applauds provincial elections

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Iraq on Friday for the smooth running of provincial elections but said that the country still had a way to go to establish security and stability. | 02/06/09 00:51:00 By - Trenton Daniel

Is Obama's 16-month withdrawal timetable slipping?

Responding to a request by President Barack Obama, top military and diplomatic advisers on Iraq have submitted a report to the White House that spells out the risks of drawing down U.S. forces in Iraq over periods as long as 23 months. The multiple options are the first indication that the Obama administration may be willing to abandon a campaign promise of a 16-month withdrawal. | 02/05/09 20:30:00 By - Nancy A. Youssef

Pro-Iran party loses big in Iraq local elections, returns show

Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki's political party won a resounding victory in Iraq's provincial elections, preliminary results show. The results also showed that what had been Iraq's dominant political party, the Supreme Council of Iraq, closely allied with Iran, suffered an enormous defeat. | 02/05/09 13:12:00 By - Trenton Daniel

Good news: Big loser in Iraq elections may have been Iran

The Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, founded in Iran during that country's war with Iraq, has dominated Iraq's political life since U.S.-sponsored elections in 2005. But its candidates lost throughout the country in last weekend's elections, while the party of Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki did well, particularly in Baghdad. | 02/04/09 18:09:00 By - Trenton Daniel and Leila Fadel

With tension rising, Iraq will recount ballots in Anbar

Iraq's electoral commission vowed to recount ballots from some polling stations in Anbar province after tribal leaders accused the Iraqi Islamic Party, which currently controls the provincial council, of rigging the vote. Among the protesters: the head of the Awakening Council whose alliance with U.S. Marines is credited with defeating al Qaida in Iraq. | 02/04/09 12:26:07 By - Leila Fadel

Iraq voter turnout lower than expected in provincial vote

In the years of sectarian strife unleashed by the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Ali Mahmood led a nomadic existence, moving from his native Basra to Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul and then back to Basra. That's why he was a no-show at Saturday's voting: The card he needed to vote was 500 miles away, in Mosul. | 02/03/09 17:20:00 By - Trenton Daniel and Mahdi al Dulaymi

Low turnout in Iraq's election reflects a disillusioned nation

Voter turnout in Iraq's provincial elections Saturday was the lowest in the nation's short history as a new democracy despite a relative calm across the nation. Only about 7.5 million of more than 14 million registered voters went to the polls. Interviews suggest that the low voter turnout also is an indication of Iraqi disenchantment with a democracy that, so far, has brought them very little. | 02/01/09 16:12:00 By - Leila Fadel

In Iraq, a vote for the spirit of democracy

BAGHDAD — Saturday's provincial elections might have brought hope to some. | 01/31/09 17:23:00 By - Leila Fadel

Calm Iraqi election marred as thousands were denied vote

The day was free of election-related violence, but thousands of Iraqis were unable to vote because their names were missing from voter lists. Some confused Iraqis even wandered neighborhoods looking for a polling place that would accept their vote. The extent of the problem couldn't be determined, but thousands of Iraqis in some locales took to the streets to protest. | 01/31/09 17:23:00 By - Leila Fadel

Iraq largely peaceful as Iraqis pick new provincial councils

Iraqis walked to polling centers in 14 of the country's 18 provinces on Saturday to pick new local representatives, with no sign of election-related violence. Some voters walked three hours to their assigned polling places. The biggest complaint across the nation was missing names on the rosters at polling stations. | 01/31/09 10:21:19 By - Leila Fadel

Female candidate runs to make change in her life, in Iraq

BAGHDAD — The face of Islam Abbas Faraj, 36, isn't among those on the campaign posters that blanket the walls of Iraq's Diyala province, a stew of Sunni and Shiite Muslim Arabs and Sunni Kurds north of Baghdad. | 01/30/09 13:07:00 By - Sahar Issa

Iraqi ambassador visits horse farm in Kentucky

It takes a lot to rattle an ambassador, especially when the country he represents is Iraq. So Samir Sumaida'ie, Iraq's ambassador to the United States, had a fine time during a whirlwind visit to Lexington, arriving after dark Thursday at a horse farm crystalized by the ice storm. | 01/30/09 06:59:39 By - Tom Eblen

'City of death' may be key to Iraq's future

Diyala was once the bloodiest of the 14 provinces where Iraqis will vote Saturday for new provincial councils. Shiite Muslim Arabs, Sunni Muslim Arabs and Kurds rub against each other, and their battles transformed Baqouba from the city of oranges to the city of death. Al Qaida in Iraq killed hundreds in Baqouba's main square and just last week, a family of nine was slaughtered in their home. Now everyone in Diyala is waiting to see if ballots, rather than bullets, can bring change. | 01/29/09 18:26:00 By - Leila Fadel

Behind Iraqi walls plastered with promises, tragic stories

Every wall that surrounds the homes of potential voters in Diyala province is covered in posters promising change and hope, but behind them there are likely to be tragic stories of loss. | 01/29/09 18:20:00 By - Leila Fadel

Iraq won't allow Blackwater security firm to stay in country

Iraq told the United States this week that it won't renew the license of Blackwater Worldwide, a North Carolina-based security firm that's provided protection for U.S. diplomats in Iraq but has been widely criticized as using force excessively. | 01/29/09 13:57:00 By - Leila Fadel

Analysis: Saturday's elections a crucial test for Iraqi democracy

This Saturday, when Iraqis cast their ballots for 14 provincial councils, will be the first real test of Iraq's American-made democracy. Whether Iraqis reject or accept peaceful transfers of power will be the first credible indication of whether departing U.S. troops will leave behind a democratic Iraq or a failed state. | 01/28/09 15:33:00 By - Leila Fadel

Iraqi's Shiite political parties vie for power in south

In Najaf, the heart of Shiite Muslim Iraq, pedestrians linger on the sidewalks of a busy bazaar, men smoke fruit-flavored shisha tobacco in cafes and a new first-class hotel with sparkling marble floors and dripping chandeliers is almost full. The battered capital of Baghdad seems much farther than 100 miles away. | 01/27/09 16:59:00 By - Trenton Daniel

1st full class of policewomen joins Iraq's fledgling force

Wafaa Kamal Abdul Razzaq, 22, had applied to be a cop after seeing an advertisement on state television. She needed work and the force needed women. Monday, she sat on the ground with the first graduating class, smiling as the orchestra played "Victorious Baghdad." | 01/26/09 18:35:00 By - Jenan Hussein

U.S. raid kills Iraqi man, woman in their bed

An Iraqi couple was killed in their bed Saturday morning as their daughter slept between them when U.S. forces raided their home. | 01/24/09 16:42:00 By - Leila Fadel and Hussein Kadhim

Layers of graffiti on walls tell history of Iraq war

Iraq is a nation of walls: Tall concrete blast walls built during the past six years, ancient mud-brick barricades that date to antiquity and walls built of various materials from the centuries in between. The newest walls protect Iraqis from one another, but they also divide families. They separate the government from the people, and foreigners from Iraqis. | 01/23/09 18:21:00 By - Leila Fadel

Iraqi candidates stumping for Jan. 31 provincial elections

If any single image can capture Iraq's precarious position, suspended between dictatorship and democracy, it's the campaign posters that are pasted on towering concrete blast walls throughout Baghdad and in the provinces, reflecting the country's brutal past and its hopes for a different future. | 01/23/09 17:01:00 By - Trenton Daniel

Marine commander: 'Time is right' for Marines to leave Iraq

The top Marine commander said Friday that his forces already had begun pulling equipment out of Iraq and that nearly all of his troops could be out in as little as six months. | 01/23/09 00:43:00 By - Nancy A. Youssef

Crocker leaving Iraq hopeful but warns against fast pullout

Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said Thursday that the greatest error the United States could make in Iraq would be a hurried withdrawal. However, he expressed confidence after talks with President Barack Obama that the new chief executive won't make that mistake. | 01/22/09 16:59:00 By - Leila Fadel

Exclusive: Iraq commander says Iraqi election outcome key to U.S. withdrawal

One day after President Barack Obama pledged that America would begin to "responsibly leave Iraq to its people," Gen. Ray Odierno, the commanding U.S. general in Iraq, said that if the country held peaceful elections this year, the relative calm that has settled on Iraq would be "irreversible." | 01/21/09 17:08:00 By - Leila Fadel

Iraq Palestinians see hypocrisy in Maliki denouncing Gaza attack

The roads are strewn with trash, and sewage fills the gutters in Baghdad's Baladiyat district, which for decades has been home to Iraq's biggest Palestinian community. Banned from holding Iraqi citizenship, even if they were born here, Palestinians lost some of the few rights they had after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 and have lived in fear of Iraqi groups who seek revenge for the Palestinians' perceived connection to the old regime. | 01/13/09 17:48:00 By - Leila Fadel

U.S. Marines find Iraq tactics don't work in Afghanistan

Marines newly arrived in Afghanistan are discovering that the tactics they learned in nearly six years of combat in Iraq are of little value in their new war — and may even inhibit their ability to fight their Taliban foes. Mine-resistant vehicles are too slow, body armor is too heavy, and heavily armored Humvees can't take the difficult Afghan terrain. | 01/11/09 17:04:00 By - Nancy A. Youssef

Iraqi Shiite politicians use holy day to stir political fervor

Iraq's ruling Shiite Muslim parties used the sacred holiday of Ashura on Wednesday to make a pitch to voters, who'll go to the polls Jan. 31 to elect authorities in the 14 of the country's 18 provinces. On the blast walls lining the main pilgrimage routes from Baghdad to the southern city of Karbala, religious banners competed with political posters. | 01/07/09 19:37:00 By - Leila Fadel

Mammoth new U.S. Embassy marks new stage for Iraq

The U.S. flag was raised Monday over the mammoth new American Embassy in Iraq, symbolizing a new era of restored Iraqi sovereignty and reduced U.S. power, despite the fact that it's the biggest American mission on Earth. | 01/05/09 16:56:00 By - Leila Fadel

Dozens in Iraq killed by woman wearing a bomb

BAGHDAD — A woman wearing an explosive belt blew herself up near an important Shiite shrine in northern Baghdad on Sunday, killing as many as 40 people — many of them pilgrims — and wounding about 76, police said. | 01/04/09 16:18:00 By - Hussein Kadhim and Leila Fadel

Female bomber kills at least 40 at shrine in Baghdad

About 11 a.m. on Sunday a female suicide bomber blew herself up in Baghdad's Kadhimiyah district among masses of religious pilgrims flocking to a Shiite Muslim shrine. The bomber got as close to the shrine as she could before reaching a tent where women are searched to ensure bombers can't target visitors to the ornate shrine. At least 40 people were killed, including 16 pilgrims from Iran. | 01/04/09 09:13:14 By - Leila Fadel and Laith Hammoudi

U.S. troops returning to Iraq find something new: optimism

The violence of his past deployments in Iraq still haunts Daniel Clemons, a 32-year-old National Guard staff sergeant who's back for his third tour. This time, however, Clemons, like a lot of returning U.S. troops, is encountering something new: political and security improvements so dramatic that he can imagine the war ending and his memories of past bloodshed dimming. | 01/04/09 06:00:00 By - Adam Ashton

Suicide bomber kills 30 at Sunni tribal parley in Iraq

A man wearing a suicide vest attacked an informal reconciliation meeting hosted by a Sunni tribal leader south of Baghdad Friday, killing up to 30 people and injuring as many as 110, police said. | 01/02/09 13:02:00 By - Mohammed al Dulaimy and Adam Ashton

Help wanted: As air industry grows, Iraq seeks controllers

Iraq officially began to govern its skies this week, but it has enough trained air traffic controllers only to manage the highest heights above the country. With its air industry growing for the first time in dacades, Iraq hopes to hire enough air traffic controllers to take over control of its skies from the U.S. by 2011. | 01/02/09 18:20:00 By - Adam Ashton

2009 in Iraq: A new era dawns, but old fears still hold sway

With the arrival of 2009, Iraq has achieved, at least on paper, something it hasn't enjoyed since American troops entered the country almost six years ago — the declaration that it is a sovereign nation, free of a United Nations mandate that allowed the U.S. to run Iraqi affairs. Still, Iraqis aren't willing to say that the bad years of sectarian bloodshed are over or that what's taking place will lead to better days. | 12/31/08 19:00:00 By - Leila Fadel

Cult-like Iranian militant group worries about its future in Iraq

Since the U.S. invasion toppled Saddam Hussein, a group of Iranian rebels he once sponsored has been protected by the U.S. military inside their camp north of Baghdad — to the outrage of the Iranian government. Thursday, that protection ended, and now the camp's 3,400 residents fear what might happen next. | 12/31/08 18:00:00 By - Leila Fadel

Baghdad bombing suggests that security gains are fragile

A car bomb ripped through a historic Shiite Muslim district of Baghdad Saturday, killing at least 24 people and wounding at least 46, Iraqi police said. The bombing in Kadhimiyah, a holy area for Shiite Muslims, underscores fear that the security gains of the past year are fragile, even in the countrys capital. | 12/27/08 16:12:16 By - Laith Hammoudi and Leila Fadel

Senator trades suit for uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, says his work in Iraq as Col. Lindsey Graham, an Air Force Reserve attorney, may be more important than his work on Capitol Hill. "Getting honest judges, honest prison guards and honest police ... can do more good to turn a country around than all the military power in the world," he says. | 12/27/08 16:23:31 By - James Rosen

Iraqi government to take control of Sunni militia in Diyala

Jan. 1 will see an important test of Iraqi reconciliation when the central government takes control of Sunni Muslim militias that had backed a U.S.-led security program in volatile Diyala province. The province is a fault line of sectarian tensions, with Sunni tribal leaders fleeing because they fear being targeted by Iraq's Shiite-led central government. | 12/27/08 12:53:20 By - Adam Ashton

Iraq prison revolt leaves 16 dead; three al Qaida escape

Prisoners in a western Iraqi prison staged an armed revolt Friday morning that lasted for at least two hours and left 10 policemen and six prisoners dead. Three al Qaida in Iraq prisoners escaped and are on the loose, Iraqi police said. | 12/26/08 07:57:00 By - Jamal Naji and Leila Fadel

Christians crowd Baghdad church, but many families are divided

The pews were packed for the Christmas mass in Baghdad's Greek Orthodox church Thursday, a sign to Father Younan Yacob that the city had grown safer for its Christian minority over the past year. | 12/25/08 15:19:00 By - Adam Ashton

Thousands of candidates may complicate Iraq's provincial elections

Iraqi voters next month will see 14,500 candidates vie for 440 open seats on provincial councils, an outpouring of interest in a new phase of Iraqi self-government that could make for a baffling ballot. The Jan. 31 poll will be the first in a series of votes in Iraq next year that include elections in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region, a national referendum on the new U.S.-Iraq security pact and nationwide parliamentary elections. | 12/24/08 15:53:00 By - Mohammed al Dulaimy

What are 'combat troops'? Iraq withdrawal depends on answer

All U.S. forces will leave Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011, but how that withdrawal will happen is still being negotiated by Iraqi and American officials, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said Tuesday. | 12/23/08 18:01:00 By - Adam Ashton and Laith Hammoudi

Baghdad's silent theaters reflect a cultural darkness

Most of the theaters on Sadoon Street, the strip that housed Baghdad's movie scene before the war, closed because of the violence that made catching a film after dark too dangerous a risk for most people. The theaters that remain have a reputation for playing old American action movies with pornography spliced into some scenes. | 12/23/08 15:41:00 By - Jenan Hussein

Iraqis hope to sue U.S. troops under new accord

The families of three men who were killed last week during a search of a grain warehouse want to press charges against American soldiers under the terms of a new security agreement between the U.S. and Iraq. | 12/22/08 16:06:00 By - Adam Ashton

Iraqi farmers are back in business, and Iraqis love local produce

Mansour Abdul Khadim's mix of winter crops gives every impression of abundance, despite the double threat of drought and violence that has plagued Iraqi agriculture since Saddam Hussein's fall in 2003. Rows of red potatoes and green beans grow together in one lot. Winter wheat sprouts in adjacent fields. Tomatoes for the spring already are incubating in mounds of fertilizer. | 12/20/08 14:26:00 By - Adam Ashton

More Iraqis rally to cause of reporter who threw shoes at Bush

Iraqis in different cities have demonstrated every day this week on behalf of Muntathar al Zaidi, and Friday's rally brought together a handful of politicians, Zaidi's siblings and a mix of protesters from several provinces outside of Baghdad. Even Sunni Muslim leaders are lionizing the Shiite journalist. | 12/19/08 17:58:00 By - Sahar Issa

Iraqi government plays down arrests of 23 police officers

Twenty-three mostly low-ranking police and security officials were detained this week as part of an investigation into attempts to revive Saddam Hussein's banned Baath Party, government officials said Thursday. | 12/18/08 18:23:00 By - Hussein Kadhim

Did the shoe cause rebellion at Baghdad's July 14 Bridge?

In the many times that I have been at the square that leads to the July 14 Bridge and the Green Zone, I had never seen anyone object to soldiers closing off the road whle a convoy of some official passes by. But Wednesday was different. The drivers refused to stop, even when the soldiers pointed their rifles at them. Did Muntathar al Zaidi's shoe-throwing cause this? | 12/17/08 18:30:14 By - Mohammed al Dulaimy

U.S. troops confront Iraqis rallying in favor of shoe-thrower

U.S. troops in Fallujah reportedly fired over the heads of demonstrators rallying in favor of the Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at President Bush. The journalist appeared before an Iraqi investigative judge Wednesday and was told he'll face charges of attacking a head of state. | 12/17/08 11:04:00 By - Jenan Hussein and Laith Hammoudi

VIDEO REPORT, Part 3: Iraq's provincial vote will pit Shiite vs. Shiite

Leila Fadel, McClatchy's Baghdad bureau chief, discusses the political landscape as Iraqis prepare for provincial elections at the end of January. | 12/16/08 14:39:54 By -

Shoe-throwing reporter a hero to some Iraqi colleagues

In the U.S., hurling an object at another country's visiting leader wouldn't earn a journalist much respect among his peers. In Iraq, television journalist Muntathar al Zaidi is somewhere between a hero and an outcast after he threw his shoes at President George W. Bush during a news conference Sunday. | 12/16/08 18:24:00 By - Jenan Hussein and Adam Ashton

Bush shoe incident caught Secret Service flatfooted

Although the Secret Service put everyone who attended President George W. Bush's Baghdad news conference through several layers of security Sunday, the agency appeared to be caught off guard when an Iraqi journalist hurled his shoes at the president. Agents were forced to the side of the room, which was so crowded that Iraqi journalists added a chair to the front row, then crammed in two additional bodies. There was no room for Army Gen. Ray Odierno's security detail either. | 12/15/08 18:56:00 By - Greg Gordon and Adam Ashton

Iraqis doubt U.S. can, or will, honor withdrawal dates

The deadlines sound clear enough in the security agreement: U.S. combat troops must be out of Iraqi urban areas by June, and all Americans should withdraw from the country by Dec. 31, 2011. However, those deadlines have appeared anything but firm to Iraqis over the past week | 12/15/08 17:05:00 By - Adam Ashton

Iraqi who threw shoes covered U.S. bombing of Shiite area

Friends said that the Iraqi television journalist who hurled two shoes at President Bush on Sunday during a joint news conference Bush was holding with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki had been deeply affected by the carnage he saw earlier this year when U.S. aircraft bombed Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood. The journalist was wrestled to the ground and detained. Bush was unhurt. | 12/14/08 15:53:57 By - Adam Ashton and Mohammed al Dulaimy

Human rights inquiry set for warehoused Asians in Iraq

The U.S. military and defense contractor KBR are investigating possible human-rights abuses at a compound near the Baghdad airport where, McClatchy and The Times of London revealed last week, a Kuwaiti company housed about 1,000 Asian men it recruited for jobs in Iraq that didn't materialize. | 12/12/08 15:42:00 By - Adam Ashton

Iraq official says U.S. troops might be needed for a decade

The assertion by Ali al Dabbagh, Iraq's official government spokesman, in Washington set off a clamor in Baghdad and undermines Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki's pledge that the agreement will end the presence of American forces in his country by the beginning of 2012. The pact faces a popular referendum in the summer. | 12/12/08 11:02:00 By - Adam Ashton

Bombing at posh Kirkuk restaurant kills 47, injures more

A suicide attack at a posh restaurant in the northern city of Kirkuk on Thursday killed 47 people and injured more than 100, shattering a calm that had settled over Iraq during the four-day Eid al Adha holiday. | 12/11/08 13:27:44 By - Yaseen Taha and Adam Ashton

Prices for sacrificial lambs skyrocket as Iraqis honor dead

The sheep markets looked different this year: They were packed with customers buying animals to sacrifice in memory of recently lost relatives, but many people went home empty-handed due to the enormous demand and steeply rising prices. | 12/10/08 17:17:00 By - Jenan Hussein and Adam Ashton

VIDEO REPORT, Part 1: Iraqis suspicious of U.S. troop accord

McClatchy Baghdad Bureau Chief Leila Fadel talks about the implications of the U.S.-Iraq troop agreement signed last month. | 12/10/08 13:35:02 By -

Pentagon ignored danger of roadside bombs, report finds

The military ignored steps before the invasion of Iraq that could have prevented the staggering number of casualties from roadside bombs, the Pentagon's acting inspector general charged Tuesday. The IG's report says that the military knew years before the war that mines and homemade bombs " would be a "threat . . . in low-intensity conflicts." | 12/09/08 18:52:00 By - David Goldstein

With violence down, Iraqis travel for big religious holiday

BAGHDAD — For the past few years, Nawal Abdulla Hadi of Baghdad couldn't travel to see her family for the Eid al Adha, giving up the traditional reunion during the annual Muslim holiday because the roads weren't safe. | 12/09/08 16:53:00 By - Adam Ashton

Law's unclear if U.S. can prosecute Blackwater guards

The indictment of five Blackwater security guards, unsealed this week, is pinned to the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act. The question now becomes: does the law apply to the Blackwater guards? They were technically under contract to the State Department. Were they acting to support Pentagon operations? | 12/09/08 15:13:20 By - Mike Doyle

Future of U.S.-Iraq relations? Teamwork

The role of the U.S. military in Iraq over the next year could look a lot like the scene of a joint U.S.-Iraqi military patrol in a northwest Baghdad rail yard this weekend. Iraqi police talked with property owners, broke locks and led the way through about 40 buildings at the compound. The Americans followed with tools the Iraqis lacked, such as bomb-sniffing dogs and an explosives team. | 12/08/08 19:15:03 By - Adam Ashton

Death in Baghdad: How a troubled teen found himself in Iraq

The facts about the life and death of Alex Funcheon are these: As a Wichita teen he was a screw-up and a jerk. He got drunk, got high, got arrested for possession, dropped out, bedded girls and bragged about it, cursed at his parents, bullied his little sister to tears, and ticked off friends so much that a roommate, one of his closest friends, told Alex one day to find some other place to live. | 12/07/08 10:06:48 By - Roy Wenzl

Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq - Saturday 6 December 2008

A sticky bomb stuck to a civilian pickup truck targeted civilians in al-Rasheed wholesale grocery market in Doura, southern Baghdad at 11 a.m. Saturday killing one civilian, injuring three others.

Two Iraqi Army servicemen were killed by sniper fire in Abu Ghraib, late Thursday afternoon. | 12/06/08 08:44:35 By - Sahar Issa

Reporter reflects: 'Their grief is my last remembrance of Iraq'

For all the stories of reduced violence and political and social successes there, Iraq remains, for the most part, a devastated country. It's OK to revel in what's been achieved, but only for a moment. Because the real story of Iraq, the one that deserves thoughtful attention, is about everything that's still left to accomplish there. | 12/05/08 15:12:00 By - Corinne Reilly

Warehoused Asian workers in Iraq will be sent home

Asian men who've been living in warehouses near the Baghdad airport while awaiting promised jobs with a military subcontractor now are in line to be sent home, and they're still not sure how they'll be paid for their time in Iraq. | 12/04/08 17:09:00 By - Adam Ashton

Tonga, most other coalition countries leaving Iraq

The Tongan marines left with a song, their vowel-rich war choruses echoing in the marble halls of a palace built for Saddam Hussein but now occupied by the U.S. military. | 12/04/08 16:46:00 By - Adam Ashton

Suicide bombings in Iraq hit Fallujah, prompt lockdown

The city of Fallujah is on lockdown following two suicide bombings Thursday that killed 15 people and wounded more than 100, Iraqi police said. | 12/04/08 07:40:14 By - McClatchy Newspapers

North Carolinian seeks a kind of peace in return to war

Sgt. 1st Class Chad Stephens is returning to Iraq after four years of a hard civilian life, where nightmares plagued him, jolting him awake in the bedroom of his home in rural Ahoskie, N.C. He retreated to a converted barn behind his home. He didn't go into stores or crowds or even downtown Ahoskie. For him, a return to military life offers a hope of relief from his jumpiness. In the military life, he told his psychiatrists, I'm good. | 12/03/08 19:17:37 By - Barbara Barrett

Gates walks fine line between two administrations

In his first news conference since President-elect Barack Obama asked him to stay on, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that he and Obama agree on the U.S. course in Iraq, but he couldn't commit to Obama's pledge of a 16-month withdrawal. Instead, Gates said the pace of the drawdown would be one of several discussions in which he'll participate during the new administration. | 12/02/08 19:40:00 By - Nancy A. Youssef

Military contractor in Iraq holds foreign workers in warehouses

About 1,000 Asian men hired by a Kuwaiti subcontractor to the U.S. military have been confined as virtual prisoners in windowless warehouses near the Baghdad airport, many for as long as three months. Najlaa International Catering Services, a subcontractor to KBR, the Texas-based former subsidiary of Halliburton, hired the men for contracts that fell through. | 12/02/08 19:13:59 By - Adam Ashton

Dozens killed, scores wounded in spate of Iraq attacks

As many as 38 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded Monday in multiple attacks across Iraq, including one in which a man detonated a suicide vest near a convoy of coalition vehicles in Mosul, killing up to 16. | 12/01/08 17:32:00 By - Laith Hammoudi

Iraq, with U.N. help, seeks to improve elections

There's big change coming to the ballot in Iraq's January provincial elections: This time, candidates names will appear on the ballot instead of lists of political parties. Iraq concealed the identities of candidates in the 2005 election as a safety measure. Security has improved significantly since then -- though elections can still be a dangerous for candidates and election workers. | 11/30/08 16:24:00 By - Adam Ashton

Iraq's religious leaders criticize security agreement

Influential religious leaders across Iraq are voicing reservations about a U.S.-Iraq security agreement that allows Americans to remain in the country for another three years. Their comments filtered out Saturday as Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki met with U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of multinational forces in Iraq, to plan for the treaty's implementation. | 11/29/08 15:51:00 By - Adam Ashton

With Iraqi parliament approving pact, Maliki's stature grows

In a country where agreements are hard to reach, Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki built a broad political coalition to muscle through a divisive U.S.-Iraq security pact that could set his place in his nations history as the man who ended the American occupation. | 11/27/08 16:48:11 By - Adam Ashton

Iraqi parliament approves pact to end U.S. occupation

A resounding majority of Iraqi parliament members on Thursday approved a security pact that calls for an end to the U.S. occupation by 2012, giving the measure a mandate of national unity that was considered critical for its long-term success. | 11/27/08 08:45:07 By - Adam Ashton

Iraqi parliament delays troop pact vote over unrelated issues

The security pact, which sets the end of 2011 for U.S. withdrawal, likely has enough pledged votes to pass, but the government is trying to come up with policy pledges that will persuade a bloc of Sunni Muslim lawmakers to vote for the pact. Sunni backing would demonstrate national support for the agreement. | 11/26/08 17:10:00 By - Adam Ashton

Iraq's parliament puts off vote on U.S. troop accord

Iraq's parliament was expected to vote today on a U.S.-Iraq security pact that calls for the withdrawal of American forces within the next three years. But parliament put the vote off until Thursday as legislative leaders worked to find a compromise that would set a national referendum on the issue for next year. | 11/26/08 10:38:35 By - Adam Ashton

Vast U.S. Embassy in Baghdad: A monument to what?

The United States has built a vast embassy complex in Baghdad. But three years from now, when U.S. troops are gone, will it be seen as a monument to success or a reminder of a fiasco? | 11/24/08 19:27:17 By - Roy Gutman

3 bombs kill at least 16 Iraqis in attacks in Baghdad

Three explosions killed at least 16 Iraqis on Monday, including 14 who were in a bus to a government ministry and an Iraqi soldier at a heavily guarded checkpoint leading to the U.S.-controlled International Zone. The checkpoint bombing appeared to be carried out by a mentally unstable woman wearing a suicide vest. | 11/24/08 12:42:44 By - Adam Ashton and Hussein Kadhim

Sunni sheiks air grievances, but will work with Shiite-led government

The meeting was billed as a routine press conference to show off a new government center in this town west of Baghdad — known to Iraqis for the infamous prison as well as for the deep distrust between the Shiite-led central government and the Sunni tribes that reside here. But tribal leaders had something they wanted to say, and they weren't going to follow the day's script. | 11/22/08 16:36:00 By - Adam Ashton

Sadr followers protest Iraqi-U.S. pact in huge rally

Tens of thousands of followers of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr packed a central Baghdad square Friday, where they protested a U.S.-Iraq security agreement and likened Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki to fallen dictator Saddam Hussein. | 11/21/08 10:24:00 By - Adam Ashton

Contractors in Iraq could face charges in earlier incidents

Private security contractors operating in Iraq could face Iraqi prosecution for acts committed when they supposedly had immunity from Iraqi law, U.S. officials said Thursday. | 11/20/08 20:06:00 By - Nancy A. Youssef

Why the U.S. blinked on its troop agreement with Iraq

The Pentagon has welcomed a new accord on U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq. But privately, senior officials are criticizing President Bush for giving Iraq more control over U.S. military operations than had ever been contemplated. They blame U.S. negotiators for not understanding how upcoming elections would make Iraqi officials unwilling to compromise. | 11/19/08 19:43:00 By - Nancy A. Youssef

Iraqis doubt security agreement will end U.S. presence

Iraqi and American leaders say that a new security pact will have all U.S. forces and military contractors out of Iraq by 2012, but 14th Ramadan Street is skeptical. | 11/19/08 16:21:00 By - Adam Ashton

Unofficial Translation of U.S.-Iraq Troop Agreement from the Arabic Text

This is an unofficial translation from the Arabic of the agreement between Iraq and the United States for the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq. It was translated by the staff of the McClatchy Baghdad Bureau. | 11/18/08 19:03:00 By - McClatchy Newspapers

Under Iraq troop pact, U.S. can't leave any forces behind

The status of forces of agreement between the United States and Iraq goes further than most people in the United States realize. It contains no provisions for the U.S. to leave behind a residual force recently mentioned by Barack Obama or the trainers that have long been part of the withdrawal discussions in the United States. | 11/18/08 18:30:00 By - Leila Fadel

Maliki on Iraq TV calls for passage of troop pact with U.S.

Maliki's nationally televised address marked his first clear, public endorsement of the treaty after nine months of what he called "difficult and complicated" negotiations with U.S. officials. In May, Maliki declared that the negotiations were at an impasse, and he'd remained lukewarm this fall, neither endorsing nor rejecting the agreement. | 11/18/08 16:38:00 By - Adam Ashton

Gulf War syndrome a real illness, panel concludes

Federal research into the causes behind the mysterious malady that's affected at least 175,000 combat veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf war has "not been effective," and the report by the congressionally mandated panel suggested that politics or financial concerns might have played a role. | 11/17/08 20:10:01 By - David Goldstein

Company that bungled Baghdad embassy repeats in Gabon

A year after problems emerged in the construction of the new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, another State Department post being built largely by the same Kuwaiti-based company is engulfed by delays, recriminations, and an Inspector General's probe. The embassy building, in the central African nation of Gabon, was supposed to be finished by April 2009. Instead, it's only 7 percent complete. | 11/17/08 19:01:00 By - Warren P. Strobel

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