Massacre of Spanish Secret Agents
Guerrillas ambushed two vehicles carrying Spanish intelligence operatives in Latifiya, a Sunni town just south of Baghdad on Saturday, killing 7 and wounding another. They used rocket propelled grenades and machine guns. Crowds of young men gathered to celebrate, kicking the bodies and chanting slogans in favor of Saddam Hussein. Four of the agents were due to go home, and were riding with their replacements. The incident is sure to kick off another round of debate in Spain about the presence of Spanish troops in Iraq. A majority of the Spanish public opposes involvement in Iraq, and the opposition Socialists are sure to campaign on a withdrawal of the 1200 or so troops, which are mainly in the Najaf region. Another Spanish intelligence officer was assassinated earlier this year, and one wonders whether the ex-Baath still have sources inside the National Intelligence Center operations in Iraq.
Also, in Tikrit guerrillas ambushed and killed two Japanese diplomats whose car was approaching the city. Likewise, the Japanese public is deeply opposed to the sending of Japanese troops to Iraq, a plan championed by PM Junichiro Koizumi, a rightwinger who wants to begin erasing the taboo around Japanese militarism.