At least 15 Iraqis were killed on Friday, including nine people sitting along the banks of the Tigris river who died in a drive-by shooting, police said. In separate incidents in Baghdad, a suicide car bomber detonated himself next to a police patrol in a commercial zone, killing three Iraqis, and a mortar hit a market, killing another three civilians.
Also Friday, Sudan declared that it will close its embassy in Baghdad, part of an attempt to secure the release of six abducted employees, a Sudanese diplomat told the AP. On Thursday, al-Qaeda in Iraq threatened to execute the captives if the diplomatic mission remained.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq had set a Saturday deadline for Khartoum to "announce clearly that it is cutting its relations" with the Iraqi government, or it would kill five Sudanese hostages.