The Australian & Antiwar.com – 2006-11-24 23:41:11
332 Iraqis Killed, 315 Wounded
BAGHDAD (November 23, 2006) — In the deadliest attack since the U.S. invaded Iraq, suspected Sunni militiamen killed at least 215 people and wounded 257 others in Shi’ite Sadr City today; the death toll is expected to go much higher. In other events, another 117 Iraqis were killed or found dead and 57 more wounded for a combined total of 332 dead and 315 wounded today.
In the Sadr City district, a series of mortar and bomb attacks left 215 dead and 257 wounded. The explosions rocked the large, Shi’ite slum at 15 minute intervals beginning at about 3:00 p.m. Among the specific attacks were two car bombs that blasted the Jamila and al-Hay markets and another car bomb at Shahidein Square. Sunni militiamen were thought to be behind the attacks.
Shi’ite militiamen responded by firing several mortar rounds at the Sunni Adhamiya neighborhood, killing 20 and wounding seven more people. Also, mortars were dropped on a Sunni mosque, killing one person. Three more Sunni targets were blasted by explosives; 11 died and 23 were wounded in Azamiyah, Bab al-Moazzam and on Palestine Street. Over in northern Baghdad, 30 gunmen laid siege to the Health Ministry in what may be another Sunni-backed attack.
The three-hour firefight between the Iraqi Army and the gunmen, who are thought to be Sunni militiamen, left five wounded. A curfew has been imposed and the airports are closed in the hope that it will curb further attacks.
In Coalition news, police reported that Coalition forces fired upon a minibus carrying day laborers; four Iraqis were killed and another eight injured in the incident which occurred before dawn. Also, the Multi-National Force said that Coalition forces killed a suspected terrorist in Balad Ruz. Another 17 suspected terrorists and militiamen were killed in separate events involving Coalition forces around the country.
Other events in the capital included a roadside bomb attack, which wounded five in the Nahdha area. Another roadside bomb, this one in the Bayaa district, wounded four police commandos. On Palestine Street, yet another roadside bomb wounded four people, including two policemen.
Gunmen shot dead Najim al-Kinani, a former military pilot, in the Mansour neighborhood. Also, heavy fighting took place in the Hurriyah neighborhood and near Jadriyah bridge, but no casualties were reported. And police recovered 30 dumped bodies late Wednesday into Thursday.
In Baquba, gunmen killed two men selling black market gasoline and their customer. At least nine others were also killed in separate events.
Gunmen killed two policemen and two civilians in separate incidents around Mosul. Colonel Yasin Abd-Ali was also shot dead near his home northeast of the city. Three dumped bodies were also found.
Yashua Mageed Hedaya, the head of the independent Assyrian movement, was gunned down in Qarqash.
In Tikrit, gunmen killed one policemen and wounded another.
A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol in Iskandariya killed one officer and wounded a second.
A man was pulled off a bus in Tal Afar and shot dead.
And in Diwaniya, eight bodies were recovered.
Compiled by Margaret Griffis
US Troops ‘Idle’ During Iraq Bombings
TEHRAN (November 25, 2006) — Iran, which will be hosting Iraqi President Jalal Talabani this weekend, claims US troops stood idle while “terrorist and savage action” was being committed in Baghdad, news agency IRNA said.
Iran “strongly condemns the wave of bombings in the Shiite Sadr City and considers it a terrorist and savage action which was carried out while the American troops were standing idle,” foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini was quoted as saying by the state news agency.
“The occupation and the insecurity which emanates from it has caused continual damage to the Iraqi people, and they have no other choice but to pay its inhuman price,” he added.
In the worst attack on Baghdad since the war to oust Saddam Hussein, insurgents killed 202 people on Thursday and wounded 256 in a series of car bombings in the Shiite district of Sadr City.
The attacks, which included at least four car bombs, prompted the interior ministry to announce an indefinite curfew in the capital.
The killing comes before Mr Talabani travels to Iran today for talks the following day with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a bid to secure the eastern neighbour’s help in stabilising war-torn Iraq.
It is Mr Talabani’s second visit to the Islamic republic, which the United States accuses of meddling and inciting sectarian violence in Iraq – a charge Washington also levels at Syria.