OT - The Surge worked
- From: theBZA <dewey3kNOSPAM@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: 28 Jul 2008 19:40:28 GMT
July 29, 2008
Bomb Attacks in Baghdad and Kirkuk Kill Dozens
By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr. and SABRINA TAVERNISE
BAGHDAD ? Female bombers struck Kurdish political protesters in Kirkuk
and Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad on Monday morning, leaving at least 61
people dead and 238 wounded in one of the bloodiest sequences of attacks
in Iraq this year.
In the northern city of Kirkuk, at least 29 people were killed and 174
wounded, after a female suicide bomber blew herself up amid thousands of
Kurdish demonstrators and Kurds suspicious of Turkmen attacked the
headquarters of Turkmen political parties.
In the attacks in Baghdad, three women used suicide vests and a bomb in
a bag to make strikes just minutes apart, killing 32 people, all
apparently Shiite pilgrims marching in a festival, according to an
official at the Interior Ministry. The dead included at least four
children, one of them an infant, and there were at least 64 other people
wounded, according to police officials and witnesses.
Late on Monday, the government announced a 24-hour curfew in Baghdad,
banning all vehicle movement from 5 a.m. on Tuesday. The sudden move,
which came on a day of some of the worst violence in Iraq for months,
was reminiscent of Baghdad?s earlier, more violent days, when the
government, struggling to control bombings, would regularly close down
In Kirkuk, a city long considered a tinderbox because of its volatile
ethnic mix of Kurds, Turkmen and Arabs, rival parties traded accusations
about the violence that followed the initial blast, which occurred as
protesters gathered near the provincial headquarters building, according
to Brig. Gen. Burhan Tayyib Taha of the Iraqi police in Kirkuk.
A Kurdish member of the provincial council, Mohammed Kamal, accused
Turkmen extremists of carrying out the attack and said that after the
blast, shots had been fired at panicked Kurdish demonstrators from a
nearby building owned by Turkmen. ?Many protesters were killed and
injured by the shooting,? he said.
General Taha denied that Turkmen ? or anyone else ? had subsequently
attacked the Kurdish demonstrators, though he said security forces who
arrived to secure the scene and take the wounded to the hospital had
shot into the air to clear the route for ambulances and police cars.
He said the demonstrators had ?burned Turkmen buildings and they burned
Farouk Abdullah, a senior Turkmen politician, said offices belonging to
every Turkmen political party in the city had been attacked following
the bombing. Mr. Abdullah said the Kurdish rioters had destroyed a
number of Turkmen buildings and that many Turkmen political officials
inside had been injured.
?We don?t know why they attacked us,? he said. ?We did not have anything
to do with the explosion.?
Security forces instituted a curfew.
The three bombers in Baghdad struck in the central Karada neighborhood,
apparently using their flowing black robes, known as abayas, to carry
explosives past checkpoints and the Iraqi policemen who were guarding
marchers heading toward the Kadhimiya shrine in northern Baghdad for a
religious festival that culminates on Tuesday.
The attacks ? each about five minutes apart ? started shortly before 8
a.m., when a woman, walking amid the crowd close to the National Theater
building, blew herself up. That blast alone killed 10 and wounded 15
others, said an Iraqi Army officer who said he had lifted a baby into an
ambulance. Flip-flops and slippers of the dead were gathered into a
pile. The air was bitter from the bomb.
?It was here,? said Atheer Allawi, a police officer, planting his feet
firmly on the asphalt, boxes scattered from the blast behind him. ?We
can?t search women. They are wearing abayas, and God knows what they can
hide under them.?
Police officers interviewed at the scene said that the authorities had
heard that six women would blow themselves up in the area, and that the
leader, Um Ahmed, was wearing sunglasses. All the women were suspected
to have been from an area south of Baghdad called Salman Pak, said an
Iraqi police lieutenant at one blast site.
The second attack occurred inside a tent that provided shade and rest
for female marchers. The female bomber walked into the tent, sat down
and, according to a police official, Abu Ali, read the Koran with the
women sitting inside. When she exited the tent, she left a bag behind,
and moments later, it exploded, killing one and wounding four, he said.
The third Karada bomb exploded between two traffic police checkpoints,
killing at least 13 and wounding at least 15. Nails that had been
embedded in the attacker?s suicide vest were strewn about the asphalt.
?This was part of her belt,? said the police lieutenant, nudging a bent
nail with the toe of his shoe. He said the woman had turned off the main
street where the pilgrims were marching, after the earlier blasts caused
soldiers and police officers to conduct more frequent searches. He said
she was thought to be the leader of the group.
The violence did not deter the marchers, who continued down one of
Baghdad?s main thoroughfares, waving green flags, and with Shiite
religious songs blaring from loudspeakers. The procession headed toward
a sacred shrine named for a revered eighth-century Shiite figure, Imam
Kadhim, whose death the marchers were commemorating. ?This is what is
called the Iraqi faith and belief,? said Mr. Allawi, the police officer.
Reporting was contributed by Suadad al-Salhy, Anwar J. Ali and Riyadh
Muhammed from Baghdad, and an Iraqi employee of The New York Times from
"I would much prefer to [give a speech in a foreign country]
as president of the United States rather than as a candidate
for the office of the presidency."
- John McCain, apparently forgetting that he gave speeches
in Colombia and Mexico just a couple of weeks ago
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