in Iraq already confessed that 80% of violence in Iraq is due to presence of foreign troops. UN must take over to settle Iraq crises without delay.
At least 16 killed in Baghdad market blasts
09/11/2006 - 12:58:51
Bomb attacks on markets in predominantly Shiite neighbourhoods of Baghdad killed at least 16 people, among 38 Iraqis killed or found dead across Iraq today in the latest outbreak of sectarian violence.
Seven of those were killed when a car bomb detonated outside shops in northern Baghdad’s Qahira district as shoppers were gathering, said police Lt. Ali Muhsin. He said 27 others were injured and seven cars destroyed.
At about the same time, a suicide bomber ploughed his explosives-rigged vehicle into crowds gathered in Mission commercial complex for spare parts in Baghdad’s central Karradah district, police Col. Abbas Mohammed Salman said. At least nine were killed and 27 wounded in that attack.
Iraqis today cheered the resignation of US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, blaming him for policy failures and scandals they say helped spawn the daily sectarian carnage that continue to wrack their nation, more than three years after the US invasion.
“Rumsfeld’s resignation shows the scale of the mess the US has made in Iraq,” said Ibrahim Ali, 44, who works at the Oil Ministry. “The efforts by American politicians to hide their failure are no longer working.”
Iraq’s government has yet to comment on Rumsfeld’s resignation, announced yesterday, although prime minister Nouri Maliki has grown increasingly critical of US policies, pushing ever-harder for his government to be handed more responsibility for security by US-led coalition forces.
With a special U.S. committee looking into new policy options for Iraq, many in Baghdad said they expect changes in the US approach under Rumsfeld’s expected replacement, former CIA director Robert Gates.
“I think that there will a shift in the US policy in Iraq after his resignation,” said Osama Ahmed, 50, a civil servant.
Yesterday’s news of Rumsfeld’s resignation came shortly after Iraq’s parliament voted to extend the country’s state of emergency for 30 more days, a recognition that Iraqi security forces and their US allies are still far from bringing violence in check.
October was a particularly bloody month for Iraqis, with more than 1,200 killed, and November so far looks to be just as bad. At least 66 Iraqis were killed on Wednesday, although that is likely much lower than the true figure since many deaths go unreported. Since this summer, the United Nations has bumped its daily death toll estimate to 100 per day.
A director of Baghdad’s main morgue, Dr. Abdul-Razaq al-Obaidi, said up to 60 bodies were arriving each day. Many go unclaimed and are buried in a public cemetery after photographs are taken for later identification.
“We can’t keep them all this time,” al-Obaidi said.
Iraqi security forces continue to be the constant target of snipers, car bombs and kidnappers, with 39 policemen killed and 170 wounded over the past seven days, according to Brig. Abdel-Karim Khalaf. At least 21 US troops have also been killed this month.
Late yesterday, the military released details of two previously unreported operations conducted over recent days, including a 90-minute firefight in northern Baghdad on Sunday in which 38 suspected Iraqi insurgents were killed and nine wounded.
In a statement, the military said soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 506th Regimental Combat Team, were attacked by small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades at Forward Operating Base Apache.
That followed earlier reports from Iraqi police of fighting in the area late Saturday in which 53 Iraqi fighters were killed, although it wasn’t immediately clear if those were the same incidents.
In a separate report, the military said heavily armed insurgents ambushed a joint Iraqi-US patrol on Tuesday near the town of Dugmat, about 150 miles south of Kirkuk.
US forces responded with ground troops and air strikes, killing eight fighters, it said. One US soldier was killed and three wounded in the action, it said, casualties already reported and included in the monthly tally.
In other violence, a policeman, guard, and student were killed when unknown assailants stormed the Maali primary school as classes were starting in Muqdadiyah, about 60 miles north of Baghdad.
Three others were killed and 19 injured when a roadside bomb hidden a sack exploded near a crowd of street vendors in central Baghdad’s Tayarn square said police Lt. Ali Muhsin.
One policeman and two civilians were killed when a roadside bomb struck an Iraqi police patrol near a market in Tal Afar, 260 miles north-west of Baghdad.
A police colonel and his driver were killed in a shooting along a highway in eastern Baghdad, police Lt. Bilal Ali said, while gunmen in a speeding car gunned down a reputed former member of the paramilitary Saddam Fedayeen controlled by former president Saddam Hussein’s late son, Ode, in Amarah, 200 miles south-east of Baghdad.
Two others were killed when a mortar bomb landed on a car in Palestine street in eastern Baghdad, said police Lt. Ali Muhsin. The bodies of at least six victims of roving sectarian death squads were found dumped in Baghdad, police Capt. Fires Gait said.
Such squads are believed to have strong links to Shiite militias sponsored by political parties whose support is crucial for the survival of Maliki’s shaky Shiite-dominated government.