Summary: Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared a new dawn as Iraq celebrated the departure of American troops under a Bush-era U.S.-Iraqi status-of-forces agreement. Television stations aligned with Sunni and Shiite extremist groups have dubbed “Iraq Day” the “Day of Defeating the Occupier,” the “Day of Fullfillment,” or the “Day of Evacuation.”
With Defense Secretary Leon Panetta approving an order officially ending the Iraq war, the last American troops crossed the border from Iraq into Kuwait early Sunday, December 18, 2011, ending the U.S. military presence there after nearly nine years of war.
On Friday night, December 16, 2011 at 10 p.m. ET / 9 p.m. CT, Dateline NBC will feature “The Case of the Missing D.A.” The program, hosted by Lester Holt, includes an interview with a Pennsylvania medical examiner who will offer his theory of how the suspected murder of district attorney Ray Gricar could be linked to the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse investigation at Penn State University.
A suicide bomber struck a crowd of Shiite worshippers packing a Kabul mosque to mark the holy day of Ashoura, killing about 60 and wounding 160, while a second bombing in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif killed four more Shiites and wounded about 20 more. They were the first major sectarian assaults since the fall of the Taliban a decade ago. Afghanistan has a history of tension and violence between majority Sunnis and the Shiite minority, but while such attacks have become commonplace in neighboring Pakistan and parts of the Middle East such as Iraq, they had not previously occurred in Afghanistan.
Summary: Monthly report of U.S. military deaths in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, compiled from U.S. Department of Defense news releases and iCasualties.org.