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Asian pilgrims killed as Bush denies civil war in Iraq
Cat : Victims Of Nazi Bush
Date : 2006-09-03 16:38:03                      Reader : 293
Some are with leaving Iraq,few are not. But for Bush , he is not shameful at all to deny civil war although he is behind it with new cons , Bush refuses to withdraw, in spite 65% of Americans are against Iraq war. Bush is an Israelite rather than an American. Israel comes first , US comes the last.That is what he promised Mr Sharon !!!
Associated France Press 3/9/2006
Asian pilgrims killed as Bush denies civil war in Iraq
by Sabah Jerges
BAGHDAD (AFP) - Insurgents slaughtered 14 Shiite pilgrims from south Asia and more than 20 Iraqis, as US        President George W. Bush insisted        Iraq was not in the grip of civil war.
"Our commanders and diplomats on the ground believe that Iraq has not descended into a civil war," Bush said Saturday, a day after        Pentagon warned the possibility of a civil war in Iraq had increased in recent months.
Suspected Sunni gunmen dragged a group of Pakistani and Indian travellers off a bus crossing the desert towards the Shiite holy city of Karbala and shot dead 11 Pakistani and three Indian men.
"They were coming in a big bus with children and women. The attackers freed the women and children and shot dead the men, execution-style," said interior ministry spokesman Brigadier General Abdul Karim Khalaf.
Karbala city health director Salim Kadhim confirmed the death toll, and said the bus had taken a route past Ramadi, a stronghold of Sunni Arab rebels who are often blamed for murderous attacks against Iraq's Shiite majority.
Pakistan's foreign ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said the killings were a "terrorist act," adding that the "president and the prime minister condoled the deaths of the pilgrims."
The murders came as Iraq was already braced for a possible backlash from Shiite militias after a synchronized series of bomb attacks in Baghdad on Thursday by suspected Sunni insurgents left 67 civilians dead.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki -- whose coalition government is struggling to hold the country together -- travelled to the Shiite holy city of Najaf to consult the faith's spiritual leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
Sistani urged Maliki to quickly bring the violence under control.
"His eminence said when the government fails to do its duty in providing security, order and protection for citizens, this could pave the way for other powers to intercept and carry out this mission," Sistani's office said.
"This is very serious," he warned.
Sistani was alluding to the rise of Shiite militias, such as the Mahdi Army of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and the Badr Organization of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), a leading religious party.
After the meeting, Maliki said: "We are still looking for an opportunity to be able to finish with this issue" of militias.
Both SCIRI and Sadr are supporters of Maliki's coalition government, but their unofficial armies are seen by some as a danger to Iraq's stability and unity.
Bush, meanwhile, stressed that there was no civil war in Iraq.
In his weekly radio address he said military commanders "report that only a small number of Iraqis are engaged in sectarian violence, while the overwhelming majority want peace and a normal life in a unified country."
But a quarterly report from the US        Department of Defense painted a sombre picture of a still powerful anti-government insurgency and mounting violence between the bitterly divided Sunni and Shiite communities.
Since its last report, the Pentagon said, "the core conflict in Iraq changed into a struggle between Sunni and Shia extremists."
The report covered the period between May and the end of July, which was marked by Iraq's worst bloodshed since the US-led invasion of March 2003.
"The average number of weekly attacks increased 15 percent over the previous reporting period average ... Iraqi casualties increased by 51 percent compared to the previous quarter," the report said.
Iraqi and US officials in Baghdad say that civilian casualties dropped significantly in August thanks, they say, to a beefed-up security plan in Baghdad and the increasing competence of Iraqi security forces.
Bush too praised the security operation, saying it "is still in its early stages, yet the initial results are encouraging."
"Over the coming weeks and months, the operation will expand throughout Baghdad -- until Iraq's democratic government is in full control of the capital."
Nevertheless, the last few days of August were marked by a series of bloody attacks and clashes with both Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias.
The Pentagon report said armed factions from both sides of Iraq's religious divide "are locked in mutually reinforcing cycles of sectarian strife".
"Concern about civil war within the Iraqi civilian population and among some defense analysts has increased in recent months," it added.
"The security situation is currently at its most complex state since the initiation of Operation Iraq Freedom."
Maliki on Saturday said that he will reshuffle his cabinet. Four ministers will lose their current jobs, he said, amid speculation that the key interior or defense ministry posts could be one of them.
In rebel attacks at least 22 other people were killed, including six truck drivers, four employees of a security company and three traffic policemen.
Iraq also announced that it had regained control of the infamous        Abu Ghraib prison from US authorities and that its cells were now empty.

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