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Iraq suicide attacks peak as Ramadan worshippers slaughtered
Cat : War Against Iraq
Date : 2006-09-29 18:44:29                      Reader : 334

 So US is fully responsible. Iraqis today are dying by hundred daily all civilians, meanwhile US troops are safe!! This is a significant proof that US troops, Moussad, and CIA are behind such atrocities. UN should take urgent action against US for sake of Iraq unity and stop of daily bloodshed there. Iraq today is the worst example of claimed democracy of US invasion. Iraq also has nothing to do with terrorism, Alqaeda, and WMD before invasion The Americans are big liars.

Associated France Press 29/9/2006

Iraq suicide attacks peak as Ramadan worshippers slaughtered

by Dave Clark

BAGHDAD (AFP) - The increasingly chaotic situation in Iraq was underlined by another grim statistic, with news that the toll of suicide bombings had reached its highest level since the US-led invasion.

That came as gunmen slaughtered Sunni worshippers on their way to a mosque for Ramadan prayers.

This week's start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan has done nothing to calm the murderous battle between Iraq's divided Sunni and Shiite communities, and the violence continues to undermine faith in the government.

With UN and Iraqi officials now estimating the death toll at more than 100 per day, a spokesman for the US-led coalition confirmed that suicide attacks had hit a new peak, three-and-a-half years after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

"In terms of attacks, this week's suicide attacks were at the highest level of any given week, with half of them targeting security forces," Major General Caldwell told reporters in a briefing, without providing details.

"This has been a tough week," he told reporters. "We have seen an increase of attacks as anticipated. The terrorists and other groups are punching back to discredit the government of Iraq."

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Baghdad security plan suffered another blow Wednesday, when two car-loads of gunmen ambushed Sunni worshippers heading to their mosque, unleashing a hail of automatic fire.

At least 10 civilians were killed and 11 wounded, a security official said.

The drive-by slaughter bore the hallmarks of Shiite death squads, whose raids on Sunni communities have helped push Iraq to the brink of civil war.

In a bid to quell the violence and combat insurgents, US and Iraqi forces have launched a large-scale security drive in Baghdad, securing the city district by district, hunting for weapons and boosting economic development.

But US commanders say the time is approaching when Maliki will have to bite the bullet and allow his forces to confront Shiite militias, some of which have links to powerful factions within the fragile ruling coalition.

"We have to fix this militia issue. We can't have armed militias competing with Iraqi security forces, but I also have to trust the prime minister to decide when it is that we do that," said Lieutenant General Peter Chiarelli.

Maliki has in the past vowed to disarm militias, such as radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army. So far, his forces have made little progress and Sunni and US officers accuse the groups of having links to death squads.

Leaving aside the mosque attack, at least 25 people died across Iraq, including the victims of a car bombing in a mixed Sunni-Shiite Baghdad neighbourhood that killed five people.

Meanwhile, the Baghdad police's grim daily harvest of the corpses of murder victims turned up 55 more bodies.

US forces were in action north of the capital, in the strife-torn province of Diyala, where a raiding party hunting al-Qaeda militants was forced to call in air support after coming under fire, killing four unarmed women.

"Coalition forces killed four suspected terrorists and wounded two others during a raid," a statement said. "They also found four women killed and another wounded as a result of the air strike."

Caldwell described the loss of life as "unfortunate."

Elsewhere in Diyala, a roadside bomb exploded next to a police convoy transporting prisoners, killing two policemen and two prisoners.

Gunmen on the same highway opened fire in a separate incident and killed two civilians, while three Shiite brothers working in an electronics goods shop in the provincial capital Baquba were shot dead by unidentified gunmen.

Diyala is one of the most violent provinces in Iraq, and several major figures in Al-Qaeda have been killed or captured there. The area has also witnessed bloodshed between armed Sunni and Shiite factions.

In the northern oil hub of Kirkuk, gunmen opened fire on a military checkpoint outside town killing an officer and wounding three soldiers, police said. Another officer was gunned down inside the city.

A bomb also went off in front of the Turkmen Front Party headquarters, killing a woman and injuring 10 people, including four children.

Mortar rounds falling on the central city of Samarra around midnight killed a 14-year-old boy.

In Baghdad, meanwhile, a bomb placed inside the car of Major Mijbal Abbas, part of the investigative crime unit, exploded on a bridge in the city center, killing him as he drove to work.

A pair of bombs also exploded in the middle-class neighborhood of Karrada not far from the French embassy and the offices of a number of foreign news agencies, killing one person and injuring three.

South of Baghdad, in Kut, gunmen opened fire on cars passing by on the main street, killing one person and injuring three.

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