32 Dead in Guerrilla Violence
Al-Hayat: Some 30 policemen were killed in 3 suicide bombings Thursday, and 60 were wounded. Also killed was a Shiite religious leader. The body was discovered of a leader of the Dawa Party (the same fundamentalist Shiite party to which Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari belongs). The body of Shaikh Mahdi al-Attar was one of 8 that were discovered in Mosul. He had been kidnapped in Latifiyah about 3 weeks ago.
Al-Hayat says that its sources in the Iraqi resistance deny the rumor that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has made a breakthrough in uniting the various guerrilla groups in Iraq under his leadership. They said that the guerrilla groups are too ideologically different from one another and too factious to permit Zarqawi to subsume them under his leadership. Many of the Iraqi guerrilla factions are led by officers in the former Baath military. Despite the danger to them signalled by the Tal Afar operation and the threats made recently by the minister of defense that Ramadi is next, these faction leaders rejected Zarqawi’s plea that they unite to establish an Islamic Emirate in Iraq on the model of the Taliban in Afghanistan. In statements on the internet, the guerrilla groups also reject Zarqawi’s tactic of targetting innocent civilians and especially Iraqi Shiites. The source says that the 12 bombings in Baghdad on Wednesday did involve coordination, but that the others rejected Zarqawi’s plan to attack the Shiites.
The Shiite religious parties affirmed their determination to deploy their paramilitaries in Shiite neighborhoods, in coordination with Iraqi security forces, to protect them from Zarqawi, who announced a “total war on the Shiites wherever they are found.” Sadrist leader `Aamir al-Hasani told al-Hayat that the Mahdi Army will begin spreading out in the Shiite neighborhoods.