Blast hits Iraqi recruitment centre

Thirteen volunteers and one US soldier killed in attack in Diyala province.

    Police sources said 13 of those killed were
    volunteers from neighbourhood patrols [AFP]

    Washington says the joint work with the patrols has led to a 60 per cent decrease in attacks in Iraq since June.
    The patrols are now being increasingly targeted, especially in provinces like Diyala, where US commanders say al-Qaeda has re-grouped after being pushed out of other parts of Iraq.
    Al-Sadr ceasefire
    US commanders also say that a ceasefire by fighters of the al-Mahdi Army, loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr, a populist Shia figure, is lowering the bloodshed in the country.
    A spokesman for al-Sadr said the leader was considering extending the six-month truce after it expires in February.
    The Shia leader, who led uprisings against US troops in 2004 and whose followers were later described by US commanders as their greatest threat, surprised both Iraqis and US forces when he ordered the initial six-month freeze on his group in August.
    On Wednesday in Najaf, al-Sadr's spokesman, said: "Yes, there is a chance that the freeze on the Mahdi Army will be extended."
    Rear Admiral Greg Smith, a US spokesman, said the US welcomed the potential extension.
    "We believe that al-Sayyed Muqtada al Sadr's pledge to work in a political process and the peaceful transition is much more constructive than through violence," he said.
    The son of a prominent Shia scholar killed under the government of Saddam Hussein, al-Sadr has wide influence in the Shia south and parts of Baghdad although he does not himself carry religious standing.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.