December 29 Events in Iraq
Suleimaniya. A mass grave containing 60 corpses was found near Suleimaniya in Kurdistan as workers were clearing a site for the construction of a hospital.
Paris. Legislator investigated. French Ministry of Justice has opened an investigation into French legislator Raoul Julia, who failed in an alleged attempt to free kidnapped French reporters Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, held hostage by Iraqi guerrillas.
20:40 Baghdad. Two Lebanese businessmen kidnapped from a residence in Baghdad.
20:13 Mosul: Battle between marines and insurgents. 25 dead. Twenty-five insurgents are killed when US ground forces supported by warplanes engage rebels. The assault is in retaliation for two suicide carbombings. The first carbomb targeted a US base in Yarmuk, outside Mossul. After the detonation, fifty insurgents opened fire with RPG and automatic weapons in an attempt to take over the building. As a US patrol rushed to the scene, it was hit by a second carbomb and seven grenades. At this point, the US called in air support. Fifteen US soldiers were wounded in the engagement of which six had to be evacuated.
16:43 Iraqi National Guard to be dissolved. The ING will be merged with the Iraqi army on 6 January 2005.
16:01 Samarra. Turkish truck driver killed. A Turkish truck was ambushed and its driver killed near Bidiyah, south of Samarra.
14:53 Kiev. Ukraine to pull out troops by end of 2005. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksander Kuzmiuk says the first brigades will be pulled out sometime in the spring. Ukrainian troops are deployed in Wasit Province and are under Polish command. They are assigned to guard duty on the frontier with Iran and highway security between Baghdad and Basrah. The announcement follows the recent decision of the Ukrainian Parliament to end the deployment of its forces in Iraq.
8:05 Baghdad. Blast kills 30. At least 30 people, mostly police, were killed in the explosion of a house in the Ghazaliya quarter of west Baghdad during a raid by Iraqi security forces. The blast also toppled surrounding structures. The building had been booby-trapped by rebels targeting police.