IRAQ IS GOING DOWN THE TUBES AS VIOLENCE ESCALATES
MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - Bombs in Baghdad and northern Iraq killed at least 41 people on Thursday, police said, underscoring doubts about local forces' ability to keep Iraqis safe after U.S. troops pulled out of city centers.
By Jamal al-BadraniReutersThursday, July 9, 2009 2:08 PM
The attacks in the north, where tensions between Arabs and Kurds threaten to flare into Iraq's next conflict, appeared to be part of an attempt by insurgents to reignite sectarian fighting following the partial U.S. pullback.
Two suicide bombings in Tal Afar, a town in volatile Nineveh province that is mainly home to minority Turkmen of the Shi'ite Muslim faith, killed 34 people and wounded 60, police said.
One suicide bomber detonated an explosives vest in the historic center of the town, 420 km (260 miles) northwest of Baghdad, followed by another suicide attack just as people responded to the first blast.
Nineveh and its main city Mosul have suffered a steady drumbeat of attacks since June 30, when U.S. troops withdrew from urban centers. It is an area where groups like al Qaeda have taken advantage of tensions between Sunni Arabs, ethnic Kurds and other minorities to sustain a stubborn insurgency.
In Baghdad, seven people were killed and 20 wounded by two bombs in a market in Sadr City, a poor, Shi'ite Muslim area.
Police said both bombs were placed among rubbish piles in the popular market. Reuters Television footage showed the bloodstained interior of a minivan damaged in the attack.
The worst of the bloodshed between Shi'ites and Sunnis set off by the 2003 U.S. invasion has faded, but violence in ethnically mixed Nineveh reflects lingering divisions among Iraqis, and underscores the fragility of security gains.
Mistrust is still strong between the Sunni Muslims who dominated Iraq under Saddam Hussein and majority Shi'ites.
In the city of Baiji north of Baghdad on Thursday, Iraqi police clashed in a violent gunfight with a U.S.-backed Sunni neighborhood guard unit, and ended up arresting around 15, Iraqi police and U.S. military officials said.
The reasons for the incident were unclear, but the Shi'ite-led government is suspicious of the guards, known as Awakening Councils, because many of them used to be allies of al Qaeda until they decided to join up with U.S. forces.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 1:37 PM
Iraq continues to show signs of falling apart. A suicide bomber killed 20 people in Northern Iraq and seven more were killed by a suicide bomber in Baghdad on Thursday morning. There are estimates of up to 60 or more people injured.
Iraq and Afghanistan will NEVER be civilized democracies. Haven't we learned anything from history?
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 1:44 AM
The trust between U.S. forces trainers and the Iraqi trainees was shattered recently when an Iraqi in uniform shot and killed Master Sergeant Anthony Davis at a remote outpost in Northern Iraq.
WATCH VIDEO HERE:
CLICK ON DIAMOND-SHAPED ARROW TO PLAY VIDEO
Posted by Bill Corcoran at 12:46 AM